Sunday, 3 November 2013

Don't often need to be somewhere...

.....but when you do it all goes wrong! It's been quite a week.
With last Sunday's gales forecast, Sue and Vic moved out from the trees in to open water whilst we moved MR back into shelter (but with trees) as we had an important date with my Aunty Ivy for her 100th Birthday party in Hertfordshire. The plan being to catch up with them for a last hurrah in Banbury before we split for the winter.
 It left us with two rather long days (by our standards) to catch up and the River Cherwell was getting rather lively which, in turn, means the air draft under Nell's Bridge was going to be dodgy. Now we need to be North of the stoppages and No Problem needs to be South. The irony was that we were both going to be the opposite way round!
 I hate this lift bridge - it's been replaced but still weighs a ton

 desperately hoping to make some time and anxious about crossing the Cherwell and getting under Nell (or not) we approached Somerton Deep Lock and couldn't get in. There wasn't enough water - how can that be with everything going into flood? I tried to flush some water down but the paddle broke and the other hardly worked (guess that was why it was going to be closed for maintenance!). A hire boat with two couples was coming the other way and the two fellers bow hauled us in with the help of the engine. They'll never read this but thank you - without them we would have been totally stuffed.
We crossed the Cherwell at full throttle on red intermittent red/yellow and cleared Nell's bridge without dismantling the boat roof and, gratefully, reunited with No Problem.
 Cherwell all over the countryside we set off to follow NP into Banbury in the morning with our last night out guaranteed.
Hello - what's going on here?
 Moving a JCB across. OK, just a delay but, right at the last moment, it nearly went in the drink. Navigation closed. They just held onto it - phew!

 Then there was the lift bridge. Now G is not a small person, so off he trotted whilst I held off....and he pulled.... and pulled .....and pulled. Sorry about the photo quality but I had the boat in one hand and the camera in the other
 and then a walker came along and helped - single handed? No hope
So we, finally, arrived in Banbury with Sue and Vic and had a sensational last night out together.
They are now off darn South with family and we have moved North to clear the lock closure at Cropredy.
We shall miss them dreadfully as we have had such a good time together. Penny and Muttley will feel it too; such good pals. I fully admit to leaving them in tears


  1. When we arrived at Banbury one of the workers opened that lift bridge for us. He was a bigish chap and his technique was to stand on the stop post, hold the chain close to the beam and then launch himself. He hung for a few seconds and slowly the bridge opened and he returned to earth. I don't think Diana and I would have managed it.

    1. That's exactly what 15 stone of Graham did-it still didn't shift!

  2. The Cherwell is on its way down again now see

    1. The Cherwell is all over everywhere up here at the moment