After having coffee with Les and Jac and lunch on our boat, Keith and I set off for a walk around Bourne End. I in particular like to visit the places we stop at and to find out the history of the place. We walked to bridge No 145 and turned right, we walked down a narrow lane and came to a t-junction where we turned left.
The River Bulbourne is running quite high at the moment.
We came across Complete Outdoors and out door clothing shop with everything outdoor people need. Although we did not plan on buying anything Keith found some wool socks he had been looking for for years. They only had one pair in his size, but well worth getting. I was eyeing up a new North Face jacket as mine is getting rather tatty and was second hand when I bought it back in the early 2000’s from Oxfam for £9.99. I need to save my pennies though before I can splurge out on something which will only get worn in the Winter. Still it costs nothing to look and we have found another wonderful shop.
Bourne End has some lovely houses with a busy road running through it. It is actually situated on the ancient Roman Akeman Street between Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead. Bourne End gets its name so its said from an an irregularly flowing stream the end of the Bourne Gutter, as it meets with the River Bulbourne. In local folklore it is said the Bourne Gutter is a Woe Water that only flows at times of tragedy. Recorded instances include during 1665 at the time of the Great Plague, in 1914 at the outbreak of the 1st World War. Apparently the Hemel Hempstead Gazette has run stories on the Gutter flowing in early 1982 as Argentinian Forces invaded the Falkland Islands, in early October 1987 days before the Great Storm of 1987 that devastated woodlands throughout southern England, and in 2003 as British troops joined the International invasion of Iraq, so we have been warned.
On 30 September 1945 Bourne End was the scene of the rail disaster on the West Coast Main Line when an express train was derailed. An overnight sleeping-car express train from Scotland to London Euston derailed due to a driver's error. 43 people were killed. A real tragedy in such a small village or hamlet as it was known then.
We carried on up through the village and turn left back on to the canal at The Three Horseshoes Inn.
It has been so cold today that the puddles have remained frozen all day, which was just as well otherwise we would have been up to our ankles in mud, because in places the towpath was very muddy.