Friday, 18 November 2011

Banbury - Shipton. Trouble at lock

Grants Bridge under repair at the lock

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King Sutton Church
Kings Lock

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The lock cottage and pretty Tarvers Bridge
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A new (to us) shop opened up above Nell Bridge, selling gas and all things pig - you need to be quite stalwart though as the moorings are 'vague' and these 3 hounds will come charging down to meet you
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We'd trundled on quite happily up until this point, but knew there was a problem when we reached Nell Lock and saw one boat waiting ahead and a group of people (more people than we'd seen for a week) peering down into the lock in that head scratching way

BW chaps were in there fishing, poking and prodding as a boat (who had passed us on our moorings at high speed earlier) was stuck trying to go down - another boat (coming up) was in there as well trying to pull him through.
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Success eventually - although whatever it was in the way was never found; only moved so it's waiting to happen again
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Looking back into the lock
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we shared the lozenge shaped Aynho weir lock with Jack the lad - 'Jack' is a right old softy (the dog)
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moored for the night at Aynho as we ran out of daylight. After dark some lads turned up in canoes fund raising for Leukemia Care - they left again at 7.15am. The stamina of youth! We left about 9.30.
Allens lock is a doddle coming down, but is very tricky coming up as it is set at an angle away from you - the cause of many an undignified arrival for the unwary.

A pleasant untroubled day as we continued on through the Heyfords.
and the Mill Lift bridge - now replaced with metal and well balanced - last time we came this way I walked merrily on past the bridge forgetting all about MR who had to be rescued by a villager

We moored up in good time at Shipton (we prefer the moorings to those at Thrupp), where Daisy had a ball.
Somewhere between the two points we picked about a kilo of field mushrooms - so that'll be mushrooms and blue cheese;  mushroom pate and mushroom soup for starters........I could tell you where but I'll wait 'til I've picked some more on the way back up. Yummy!!!

PS before I forget - the boat stuck in the lock and tearing about said that they had to get to Reading - they passed us a few days later coming back up grumbling that they couldn't get to Reading as the locks were closed on the Thames. That does tend to happen at this time of the year - the antidote is called planning

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