Wednesday 16th - Thursday 17th August 2017
Fenny Compton to Cropredy Marina
5.75 miles, 8 locks
And so to the first set of locks - five of them at Claydon. Spotted in the distance were a couple of C&RT workers. We knew it was too early (08:45) to be volunteers, so we hoped the reason they were there was not going to cause us too much of a delay. Thankfully only 10 minutes whilst they moved water down to the next pound that was very low.
These locks are very rural and fairly easy to work, although the state of this lock beam leaves a lot to be desired.
There are more signs that have yet to be updated with the C&RT logo
As we left the bottom lock we found out just how low the pound was!
A bit of scraping along the bottom, but passable as long as you stayed in the middle. As we were still ahead of the game we did not have to pass any moving boats - I am sure that might well have been easier said than done.
On past Clattercote Wharf (what a great name!) with this BW historic boat
and onto the start of the next three locks. It was still wonderfully peaceful with far more of these ladies than humans
This is Chris approaching the first of the last three locks, Elkington's lock, which is where we met our first moving boat. It was in the lock coming up - always helpful. There were also other boats down below waiting, so plenty of helping hands to work the lock.
We only had two other locks to do and once again there were boats coming up at both of them, so a very easy passage for us.
At the last lock, Broadmoor lock, there is a stall selling ropes, fenders, apples
and plums at £2 a pot - they are certainly fresh and represent a good profit for the vendors as they
(we assume) been picked off the tree next to the stall!
Needless to say we passed by without opening our wallets!
We arrived at Cropredy marina around 11am. The instructions were to go past the first entrance
and into the second
We filled up with diesel and were then shown to our mooring.Shortly after we moored up the boat next to us moved off leaving us a double space all to ourselves! Very much appreciated as with the side hatch open, you don't feel so hemmed in.
It rained and rained in the night and the air was still very damp when I took Monty out first thing. The sun came out and in the main the day was hot and sunny, but with a brisk wind.
An engineer was due around 09:00 to service the engine and Tesco was due with lots of provisions to re-stock our very empty fridge and freezer. Both came and went and I spent quite a long time re-packing all the fresh stuff (I tend to remove most things from their packaging and put them into plastic pots as I find they last better and take up less valuable space). Monty had a short walk around the marina, but all in all it was a pretty non-event of a morning.
After lunch we set off to walk to Cropredy itself.
As you walk across to the reception area you go past this gate - the marina is closed today as all electric supplies to the area are off for some essential maintenance, so there is no one we can ask who Chris is/was and we will be gone before they open in the morning.
The road to Cropredy is long and straight, but not as long as the one to Fenny Compton
There is a welcome seat at the top of the incline where one can take a breather
Past this lovely field with a fabulous outlook, but a sad sign of the times that they have had to comprehensively block all vehicle access. Having lived near an area that at one time that was invaded by 'travellers', I can fully understand why they are protecting their property. The damage, filth and devastation they frequently leave behind is horrendous.
Not something you can miss as you enter the village!
I was chatting to a fellow boater and blogger yesterday (Brenda from nb Jannock who we hope to meet up with tomorrow along with husband Graham) and she told me to look out for this charmingly named street. I have to say the name conjured up chocolate box cottages rather than these semis!
This is what I expected to find in Cup and Saucer!
Next door but one to the above was the unmistakable sound of children having fun on a trampoline and in a large paddling pool.
Almost opposite the thatched cottage is a sign with details of a village trail. We could have done with this sooner and then we might have found the stone feature in Cup and Saucer - another time, maybe.
On we went towards the canal and past Vicarage Gardens with a view of the church in the background - I would love to have seen this when there was a large vicarage and gardens rather than a housing estate.
When you reach the Old Canal Wharf you are, not unexpectedly, very close to the canal
I hope not too many more boaters want to deposit their rubbish - the smell was not appealing
Views both ways along the canal
We reached our destination - the Bridge Store. It is well supplied with most basics, but not brilliant if you are after fresh fruit and vege.
I do love this sign
Our route back was to take us along the canal past Cropredy lock to Broadmoor lock where we would go back along roads to the marina. At Cropredy lock are these four sculptures
The wording is as follows:
The humpbacked bridge
Is taking umbrage
and making a bright hoop
of its bricklined arch
like a sturdy instep
on the unbroken surface
Where the quilled stumps
of pollard willows
shiver like the steel bristles
On a flea's armour
or rest head-down like sable
brushes in a jar of turps.
There is very little mooring below the lock, but plenty above.
One of the houses opposite these moorings has a really pretty garden - I do love it when people embrace the canal and make the most of their wonderful settings.
The walk takes you past the marina which is not accessible from the towpath. The arrow marks our mooring!
Back at Broadmoor lock the plums are now £1 a pot! Chris is sure they were £2 yesterday, so they have either lowered the price or he got it wrong!
Boats seen today:
This is for a friend of ours - if the Chinese underneath is impolite we deny all knowledge!
And a name that took our fancy