|Early morning on the Wissey at Hilgay|
|Lopped branches from felling provide clever bank protection|
Today it's a huge sprawling site, bewildering in its complexity – there's even a vast array of greenhouses on the opposite bank. It's quite a place so it will get its own blog post later.
As the river exits Wissington under the latest bridge it undergoes the most extraordinary transformation and opens into wide lake that makes Tixall Wide at Great Haywood seem like Tixall Narrow (though this one is only navigable near the upstream left bank.)
|Wissington sugar beet factory looms into sight|
|Crossing the lake section after Wissington|
The Wissey then reaches an aqueduct that carries it over the cut-off channel from Denver (built to supply water to the Essex reservoirs). Beyond this a control sluice across the river can be closed in times of flood to divert water from upstream via a separate channel into the cut-off and eventually back out to sea via Denver and the tidal Ouse.
|Breckland marshes across the bank from the river|
We're nearly at the end of the navigable river; another half mile took us under the main A134 Kings Lynn/Thetford road to GOBA moorings alongside a quiet (adults only!) caravan site. But first we went past them to wind a few hundred yards on at the junction with a drainage channel.
Boy did I make a mess of that! My excuse was that the wind was blowing fiercely at us, pushing us sideways at every manoeuvre. "Use the wind when turning" they say "that's why it's called 'winding'" Yes, well, like how? Poling and revving got us nowhere. Then a nearby moorer popped his head out and when he'd finished chuckling gave us the top tip of getting into the deep water on the left hand bank and poling the bow round from there. From that point on it was easy.
|Handsome house in Stoke Ferry but what's that behind it?|
However overshadowing the village, literally as well as figuratively is the monstrous bulk of a sprawling and ugly factory. It sits right behind a line of the finest houses in the village which, presumably as a result seem to be either empty or used as offices.
But what company owns it and what do they do? Perhaps embarrassed by their sheer ugliness and hideous incongruity they hide in anonymity. Nowhere could we find a name or a business type.
|More fine houses but the lurking chimney tells a different story|
Tomorrow we head back towards the Ouse and contemplate another of its tributaries.
|And finally...Brian enjoys an ice cream on this hot afternoon|