The 16th century Three Horseshoes inn, by the swing bridge at Winkwell, with it's old fireplace and its flagstone floors is perhaps not the place you would expect to find a twenty five piece band busking covers from five decades of popular music, but last night that's what happened. Kath with her meticulous planning had arranged it so that we would be there on the night of the monthly meeting of BURP, the Berkhamsted Ukulele Random Players. Sadly we were unable to co-ordinate our earlier arrival in Leighton Buzzard with the meeting of the wonderfully named Ukes of Buzzard.
Kath has two ukes so taking one each we went over to the Horseshoes to see what happened. The place was packed and the enthusiasm palpable as we launched into everything from Everly Brothers to Coldplay. I must admit I am not over familiar with the works of the latter, being myself a bit like this:
Learned Judge: (Speaking in the tones of Dame Edith Evans talking about handbags) Mr Farquhar, would you enlighten me as to what is this Cold Play the plaintiff keeps referring to?
Mr Farquhar (Barrister): Certainly M'Lud. It is I beleve the name of what in your day might have been referred to as a a popular beat combo.
Learned judge: Ahh, I see. Something akin to the Dave Clark Five perhaps
Mr Farquhar : Precisely M'Lud
Learned Judge: I am obliged to you Mr Farquhar. Pray continue with your cross examination.
Anyway, using copies the group's mammoth shared songbook, we got along fine and a great time was had by all. Even a couple of blokes who called in for a pint and stayed to listen were applauding enthusiastically.
Earlier in the day, on our journey from Berko, we had quite a job getting through the quaintly named Sewer Lock where the leakage from the bottom gates exceeds the flow through the open paddles at the other end. It took the two of us every bit of strength we had to get the top gates open. I must check if it is on the winter stoppage programme. Someone had written in large letters on the bottom gate balance beam "THIS LOCK IS A DISGRACE". Nuff said.
This afternoon we have arrived at Apsley and seized the rare chance to get on the short offside 24hr mooring by Sainsbury's.
Over at the water point above the previous lock I notice that the notice board has a significant number of notices all talking about British Waterways. Now if they towpath rangers here like we do further south, that would have been sorted.