The other week I decided to do a small series of caches along the Stroudwater Canal, built around 1776 it has laid abandoned since 1954. At last it is beginning to be restored for everyone to enjoy and so to complete this beautiful series was a "Walk on the Canalside" that I hope you enjoy.
GC3MZ1G - Newtown Lock. The start of my walk and a very clever hide indeed, it certainly got me searching for a while. The container was craftily hidden using a magnets on the underside of an information box, well out of anyone's sight. Nice start and it was a good hint as to how good this series was going to be, onwards to the next.
GC3MZ2M - Bonds Mill. Before you all ask, no this is not the "Leaning Tower of Stonehouse" and I hadn't been drinking, just a poor photograph as I tried to dodged the vehicles coming across the canal bridge. During World War 2 this little mill across the bridge was building secret equipment, early radar scanners I believe making it an important place. The building was a guard post and was well armed in case of invasion. Also in the fields around the mill were hidden several pill boxes, still there today and as kids we had great fun playing in them. Another crafty hide with a film canister suspended by a thin wire inside an old rusty pipe, and just to make it more difficult it was deep in the ivy covered hedgerow.
GC3MZ3F - Nutshell Bridge. A unique arched bridge made from red bricks in 1778, it contains two other buildings being Nutshell Cottage and Nutshell House which also have a connecting tunnel between them running under the old cart track, the bridge and buildings were renovated in 1988. As I left the cache area I bumped into another cacher, geocachingscott who I had met a few years ago. After a quick chat I detoured to stand on top of the bridge whilst I watched his search of trees on the canal side for the spoils.
GC3MZ3Z - Skew Bridge. Next on my walk I approach Skew Bridge, not it's real name may I say but because it doesn't cross the canal at 90% the cache owner is suggesting that it's skewif, (North Irish name for crooked). It's fantastic what rubbish I can teach you on here, isn't it. A little railway line was built in 1867 to run to Nailsworth, it was completely closed in 1966 and is now a wonderful country footpath of about 4 miles, and yes there are several caches along it's route. For some reason this was a tricky search with the GPS almost sending down a bank and into a nearby river. (Phew!!! there was no big splash today).
GC3MZ6H - Ryeford Footbridge. I'm now on the final stages and a part of the canal that has been expertly restored, a few days before several canal barges were lowered into this section to celebrate the restoration, hence the flag. For me a nice place to rest on a bench, right next to the cache, to watch the wildlife.
GC3MZ73 - Ryeford Double Lock. Another restoration success story which is incredible when you think it's all done by volunteers. Can I give you a link where you can see all the work going on:
Another nice easy find but for me it's the beauty of the whole place that give geocaching so much enjoyment. While a stood there soaking it all in, a group of 4 runners rushed by and I wondered, with all that energy and exercise, did they really take any notice of our great countryside.
GC3MZ7W - Oil Mill Bridge. The final cache of this little series, although as the canal is restored I believe further are planned. The actual bridge was another 800yds away, but I just had to take a photo of this weeping willow tree opposite the actual cache site. A nice shade for the ducks who had made their nests away from the tow-path. I found this little series a delight, but in the end I had one question:-
JUST WHERE IS CLARIS MY YARIS, AND HOW FAR AWAY DID I PARK IT !!!
It's OK, don't worry this pensioner's not daft, I did do it in 3 sections.