Sunday, June 28, 2009

Historic boats

We walked down the canal towards Braunston to watch many boats manoeuvring at the ‘turn’.
An official count indicated that at least 80 or more historic boats had assembled at Braunston for the weekend. There were also a few other boaters trying to get through because I suppose BW cannot actually close the navigation.
Down by the ‘Stop House’ where the canal narrows, the overhanging shrubbery threatened to scratch the freshly painted boats.
It proved to be so shallow that Nutfield got stuck on the mud while towing Raymond. Some boats passed by while the majority just waited.
Then we saw the one and only steam powered boat President as she backed into the marina with Kildare, the butty, alongside. Some of the historic boats had several generations of boating families on board. Original and current owners keeping their pride and joy in very good working condition.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Braunston preview

We walked round Braunston Marina to watch the historic boats arrive and assemble while the white and black paint dried on the bridges and buildings.

The boats are looking at their best again having been freshly painted and brass polished.

The grass has been cut as tents and displays are erected.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Friends and family

Carol and George on Rock n Roll were nearby and Ann met them on the tow path with their dog called Molly. I was inside making a chicken sauce and waved through the window. 

Then Mo and Vanessa stopped by on their way north. Good to chat about their adventures on the Kennet & Avon canal. They had got all the way to Bristol and even passed under the Clifton suspension bridge! “A special trip down the channel and back while the tide was up.”
Braunston is once again packed with boats and we have moved out going south just past the Puddle Banks. On our way out we saw a crane in the marina pulling an old boat out of the water. “It cracked on the way out.” The boat was called Lucy and had occupied space with another just outside Braunston. Both were old wooden working boats in serious decay. The other boat had been taken away for restoration.

Ann’s brother Pete and his wife Deanna arrived to see us on the boat. We took them down to Flecknoe Farm and had our Sunday roast. But before lunch we were obliged to move on past a few more boats because a swarm of bees came a bit close. The day is the longest of the year starting off more like October with dull grey skies but by the afternoon it was hot n sunny. Our guests went off with Ann for a walk while I volunteered to wash up. “Yes I do know how.” When they came back we returned to Braunston and said good bye to our guests.
We were lucky to find a space by the turn having passed many spaces for half boats! Next day we placed an order with Tesco for more food to be delivered at Willoughby. Off we went in glorious sunshine to the turn at Tarry’s bridge 74 and back, like going somewhere but getting nowhere.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Braunston boats are gathering

Braunston boat weekend is Saturday 27 th. and Sunday 28 th. June.  We have walked through the site and seen notices proclaiming that the visitor moorings near the marina will be suspended between 20 th June and 4 th July, a full 15 days in all.  Already some well restored and freshly painted workboats have arrived. 

We saw Hadar pass through heading south on the Oxford while Saltair, Betelgeuice and Warbler are already here. 
We have found that the Elsan facility near bridge 91 is blocked.  In fact some silly boater has now made it overflow and it smells.  A BW person happened to be passing and I asked when it would be fixed.  “Not my department” he said and walked on by.  The local BW office is now only open on a Friday so no doubt complaints will come flooding in.  Almost every available space is occupied and boats are still arriving this weekend so we decided to move out for a few days having filled our water tank.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Going over the summit pound

We are heading north now over the summit stopping by that mast near Griffins Bridge.  Next day the sun shine helped to make for a leisurely cruise across and down the Napton flight.  Almost every pound had two boats coming up, it was so busy.  It was still only one boat at a time in each lock so ‘taking’ a lock from boats coming down did not save them any time.  The back pumps must have been working hard because despite the amount of traffic there was plenty of water to get those boats up while we came down.
We stopped for a while before Nimrod Bridge and our friends Terry and Myra came to visit by car having seen Mike and Jo on Sarah Kate at Banbury.  Mo and Vanessa on Balmaha were there as well and they are all heading this way.


Welcome to the new look

Been sorting out the links to blogs we follow and now have a list of followers!  Many of you have ‘lost’ a Ten Bob Note !  I wonder how we can find it again ?  Where was Ernie last seen ?  If anybody finds him let him know we miss him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ride a cock horse

To Banbury Cross.......  

The Hobby Horses are gathering round that cross and the flowers are blooming around them. 


That fine lady on her white horse is looking on wondering what is going on.  Perhaps she remembers that it happens every year.  

Prince Albert can see the horses but Queen Victoria cannot.  They must all make sure that the hobby horses don’t run away across the road.


Sunday, June 07, 2009

A weekend

On Friday we moved south away from Banbury for a while.  Only a few miles and locks to the turn at Nell Bridge where we discovered an enterprising farmer has created moorings.  There is power and water with room for some four or more boats.  Free range eggs and pork sausages are also available.  The river below the next lock often floods so while waiting, boaters may well take advantage of these moorings.

Knowing that the next day was going to be wet we got back to Kings Sutton in sunshine.  Then the rains did come with a vengeance.  How miserable it is to have a whole day and night of rain, especially after so much sunshine.  Our radiators were on to take away the morning chill and later the fire was lit to dry off the washing. Have to confess to eating our Sunday roast on lap trays while watching the F1 racing.  After the race the sun came out as the cloud moved away and we went off for a walk with molly along the towpath.  Down past Kings Sutton lock and a few lift bridges and back was good going on the overgrown path.  Molly enjoyed running up and down the path and swimming in the canal.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Turn round

There never was a bus from Cropredy to Banbury so we had to take the boat back there.  Only once we had seen a bus come over the bridge by the shop.  We had asked in the shop where the bus stop was but they failed to say that the bus no longer comes into the village now!  
It was a case of backing up through one lock rather than going forward through 3 and back.  Passersby looked on and wondered what was going on.  We turned at the water point by backing in with Ann pulling the bow round and then we were off back to Banbury. 
We knew that there was a tax office there to sort out some misunderstandings.  All clear now.  It has come as a shock to realise that we are now all paying 20% tax on our earnings, 20% on our savings interest and 15% on what we spend !  We can have ‘free’ bus rides and ‘free’ medicals but what a cost.  “Not really free are they”. 
15% of our boat licence goes direct to the government so BW only get 85% of it.  Why can’t they have all of it directly.  It could make a difference to the upkeep of the canals.  If only we could claim allowances for improvements to our boat..... 
“Boy is it hot”.  Got the white sheets hanging out of the windows to reduce the radiation and a fan to give us a breeze.