Tales From The Edge

Bridge Points

The county border at Ickford Bridge

The Monday Photo

(Also, a Tale From the Edge)

This is what I saw when I sat on Ickford bridge yesterday, eating my packed lunch with one foot in North Bucks, and the other in Oxfordshire.

The county border here runs along the river Thame. I’m looking East, so the fields in this photo are in Buckinghamshire, as is the left hand side of the river. The right hand side is of course in Oxfordshire.

The border runs straight through the apex of this triangular pedestrian refuge and there are two stones marking it, both engraved and both meeting at the apex. The one on the left is easy to see here, but the other stone is in shadow and hardly visible.

The lichen doesn’t help to make the stones easy to read either, but the left hand one says:

Here Begineth
The County
of  Bucks
1685

The right hand one says:

1685
HERE ENDS
THE COUNTY OF
OXON

It seems they were done by two different people, with the year at the top on one and at the bottom on the other, and only one of them is all in capitals. It’s strange that they are worded so differently from each other; perhaps whoever made them were both Buckinghamshire men.

This is the second time I’ve shown you a county boundary marker recently, but these are probably the oldest ones in Buckinghamshire and it’s thought 1685 was also the date the bridge was built. It’s certainly not the first bridge on this spot.

I’ve been to Ickford before; in the fields behind me there’s usually an annual tug of war match between the villages of Ickford in Bucks and Tiddington in Oxon and I’ve covered it on the NBW. Naturally the pull is across the county border, the river. Yep, people get wet.

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Border Post

Bucks and Beds boundary marker

The Monday Photo

(Also, a Tale From the Edge)

I’m just outside Buckinghamshire here, but only just. I’m close enough to reach out and lay my hand on the edge of the county, and I know this because this cast iron sign tells me so.

It’s a county boundary post, probably erected in the 1930s. South of this spot, the border between North Bucks and Bedfordshire zigzags away along hedgerows until it meets a stream.

It follows the course of the stream for a while, then turns off along the line of what used to be the edge of a field but is now the back fence of several houses.

When the boundary hits Station road in Woburn Sands, it turns ninety degrees and runs right across the front face of the Weathercock Inn.

You can see here that the boundary runs right across the bottom of the photo. What you can’t see is that at the base of the post, the border also turns sharp right and goes past the camera and my right elbow; I’m in a corner of Bedfordshire.

The boundary crosses the junction and goes along the edge of the road. This means that the houses here (this is Lower End) are in Bucks, and the road is in Beds.

From Lower End, the boundary follows the Cranfield Road and crosses the A421 and the M1. The A421 is being dualed now and last time I was there, a new bridge was being built to take the Cranfield Road over the new dual carriageway.

There are 18 boundary markers still known to exist around North Bucks, and most of them are in this ‘lollipop’ style.

I think I’ll see if I can find a few more; it’ll be somewhere to go on the motorcycle now that’s allowed again. A journey with a destination, no matter how insignificant, is always better for you than just going out and travelling randomly.

By the way, there's a few more Tales From the Edge in the sidebar.

 

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Using My Head This Time

Headline Eng.

Tales From The Edge
This is an occasional series where I go to the edge of North Bucks and show you what I've found.

I often use my early 80’s Yamaha motorcycle to travel around the North Bucks Wanderer area. I can park in places where a car could never fit, I can turn it around in the narrowest of roads if I see something interesting, and it’s fun to ride.

But there’s been a problem; an oil leak. The right side of the bike and one boot were getting covered in engine oil. So not long ago I stripped down the engine, to replace the faulty seal.

The cylinder head had to be removed, and while it was off I took it to Headline Engineering, who are based in an old farmyard on the edge of Bucks, not far from Woburn Sands on the Cranfield Road.

I had snapped an exhaust stud off a few years ago, and when I tried to fix it back then I just made things worse; I snapped the drill bit off in the hole and there it was, stuck.

But it was no problem to Headline. Sean (he’s in the photo) told me that they used an air grinder to remove what was left of the drill bit, installed a Time-Sert, then put a shiny new stud in the threaded hole. You can see it in the photo; it’s on the left hand end of the cylinder head, the only shiny one.

Time-Serts are used for repairing badly damaged bolt threads in metal, and the result is a strong repair that you can rely on. I’m not going to go into the details here, but if you are interested, the makers Wurth have a video to show you how it’s done.

If you want to try these thread repairs for yourself, the Time-Sert kits can be found on Amazon.

I was please with the repair, and replaced the cylinder head on the bike. The last job to do was to replace the exhaust. At last, the exhaust would be properly fixed! I was a happy man, right up to the moment when another stud, on the opposite side of the head, snapped off...

But I’ve learned my lesson now. I’m not going to try repairing this one myself.

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Pulling for Village and County

Tales From The Edge
This is an occasional series where I go to the edge of North Bucks and show you what I've found.

Tiddington  and Ickford tug of warPlacing the rope's centre marker.

I don’t often return to a location two weeks in a row, but sometimes it’s to show you something that’s too good to miss, so here we are back at Ickford, in the bottom left corner of the North Bucks Wanderer’s area map.

Ickford's Southern parish boundary is also the county boundary, and it’s the river Thame. The Oxfordshire village of Tiddington shares this boundary, so naturally that’s where we’ll find the annual tug of war between the two villages.

Continue reading "Pulling for Village and County" »

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The Ancient Village of Ickford

Tales From The Edge
This is an occasional series where I go to the edge of North Bucks and show you what I've found.

Inside:outside Ickford churchInside/outside the church.

Right on the bottom left hand edge of the North bucks area is the village of Ickford. You can walk half a mile South from the village towards Tiddington, but when you cross the 17th Century bridge over the River Thame you’ll find yourself in Oxfordshire. The river valley is shallow here, the land almost flat.

Continue reading " The Ancient Village of Ickford" »

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Happy Birthday to the Wanderer!

Last week the North Bucks Wanderer had its first birthday, so in celebration of this milestone, I’ve selected some of the highlights from the last twelve months. There’s a link to each post in the heading. The photos here are from the posts, but might not be the first one you'll see. Enjoy!

Ludgershall Bike Night

CB1100R

On the first Monday in July last year, just about every sort of bike you can imagine was parked up alongside the High Street, in the ancient village of Ludgershall. There was over a quarter mile of motorcycles, plus a huge variety of bikes parked on The Green.

There were also a few, er, non motorcycle vehicles, but they were still quite interesting. Lots of photos at the link.

This year’s bike night hasn’t been widely advertised, but as far as I can see, it will be on Monday 1st July, from 5pm to 10pm. It’s a charity event, and proceeds will be to the local Air Ambulance. Ludgershall is near Brill, not far of the A41. Just turn up.

Life on Mars in Aylesbury

Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 01

Why is there a sculpture of David Bowie in Aylesbury, under the archway of the old Corn Exchange at the bottom corner of the Market Square? you’ll want to go and see it after you’ve read this post.

Continue reading "Happy Birthday to the Wanderer!" »

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