Getting geared up in Peterborough

After limping into Wisbech Yacht Harbour Gordon’s first priority was to try to sort out the problem with the morse cable. One look told him that it was, to use an engineering term, completely knackered. Amazingly, despite being such a boat orientated place, Wisbech doesn’t have a chandler so Gordon really needed to bodge something up to get us to Peterborough. Daryl our Wash Pilot came to the rescue, finding a piece of wire that fitted exactly into the control lever on the gearbox. Gordon then attached this to a rod that came up through a gap in the engine hatch. Job done! When he wanted to change gear all he had to do was pull on the rod. Not the most elegant of solutions but it worked and allowed us to move on the next day. Thanks again Daryl!

Of the five boats who crossed the Wash, four of us headed off towards Dog in a Doublet Lock (or as one lady from EA pronounced it Dog in a Doublay) where we’d go our separate ways.


Nicky from Wanderlust chatting to Clive from Brighton Belle as the lock filled

Parting ways

Leaving Dog in a Doublet Lock

I’ve no doubt we’ll bump into them again somewhere – in fact we’ve already organised to meet up with Clive when we go to March where he moors Brighton Belle.

Gordon was very happy to get the boat in one piece without his bodge job on the gear lever coming undone. He didn’t waste any time in getting to a chandlers, buying the right cable and fitting it. All sorted now and time to spend a couple of days in Peterborough relaxing and catching our breath. There’s a lot to see in this area and we couldn’t possibly manage it all in a day so we decided to take a look round the markets, see the cathedral and leave the rest until we’re back this way later.


Jazz band playing in the Guildhall in Cathedral Square Peterborough


The impressive facade of Peterborough Cathedral

We were very lucky with the timing of our cathedral visit. It co-incided with London based  choir ‘The Sixteen’ performing a concert to and with local school children. The Sixteen are a choir and orchestra who specialise in performing early English music. To hear their performance of  Misere Mei Deus live and in such a wonderful setting was a real privilege.


Ely cathedral choristers singing with The Sixteen to an audience of local school children.

Apart from the concert, the thing that impressed me most about Peterborough Cathedral were the ceilings, painted wood, painted plaster and carved stone. Amazing!


13th Century painted wooden ceiling in the nave of Peterborough Cathedral


Wooden ceiling detail


Sanctuary ceiling above the high altar


Incredible carved stone ceiling in the ‘new’ part of the Cathedral, built in 1508

There’s also some lovely stained glass….


Stained glass detail


Stained glass window in the south transept

…and a 9th century carved stone.


The Hedda Stone, carved in the 9th century

The cathedral, to my surprise, was the burial place for Henry VIII’s first queen Kathryn of Aragon.


It also, at one point housed the tomb of Mary Queen of Scots. She was later moved to Westminster Cathedral when her son James I came to the throne.


Mary Queen of Scots was given a Protestant funeral and entombed here in Peterborough

Looking at these tombs provided me with an incredibly direct link to two major figures in Tudor history.

Today we’re off today towards March on the Middle Levels which will take us over to the River Great Ouse and from there down towards Ely and Cambridge. As we’re on rivers for the rest of the summer fingers crossed that there we don’t get as much rain as last year!

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