We got past Aynho, across the river Cherwell which joins the canal, entered Nell Bridge Lock and stayed there for a while! The bottom gate would not shut properly and the lock would not fill. So much water was gushing past that gate. We shut all the paddles and slowly descended. An attempt to flush out the obstruction was made before Ann went round to the British Waterways yard which just happened to be nearby. By now many boats had joined a queue at both ends of the lock.
Two men turned up with a very long handled rake and after several attempts managed to dislodge the obstruction. It was probably a loose brick below the gate. We were then able to carry on to Banbury. After the weekend at least ten boats were assembling below Banbury lock, waiting to get through the lock or use the facilities. It is now the busy season and it was sad to see so many plastic bottles floating alongside the boats in the canal.