Down By The Canal

On the last Saturday of July the Leighton Buzzard Canal Festival took place. The venue was Tiddenfoot Waterside Park which is adjacent to the Grand Union Canal.

Today Leighton Buzzard’s main export is commuters but in past times it was sand: building sand, filter bed sand, and even the sand to make the glass for the Crystal Palace. And, yes, what is now a country park with a large lake was once an old sand quarry.

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Over on the towpath side of the canal there was a large array of boats, mainly canal cruisers that people use in their leisure time. The stars of the show, appropriately moored at old sand loading wharves, were three traditional narrow boats in pretty much original condition.

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A few days later we were walking along the towpath of the Aylesbury arm of the canal and came across the wooden hulled Severn moored up at Bates Boatyard.

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