Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Still sizzling as we move on with some family help

Sunday 18th June 2017
Stratford to Luddington Lock

3.25 miles, 3 locks

The day dawned sunny and hot yet again and once again the landscape around the basin had changed – this time it was the Sunday market

Not only were we on the move, but we were expecting visitors for Father’s Day.  I was in M&S as they opened at 10:30 to procure a picnic for  6.  Our daughter, Sarah, her husband, Paul and their sons, George and Jamie were due to spend some time with us.

Everyone was issued with life jackets and Sarah, George and I went ahead to set the first big lock down from the basin to the River Avon. 

 George is quite adept with a windlass now, but he has never come across a lock as big as this

Paul was left with the boat to help Chris manoeuvre off the pontoon.

So here we are in the lock with so many gongoozlers you really do not want to do anything wrong!

As we emerged the trip boat The Jennifer May was waiting to go up the lock with very many swans keeping an eye on both boats

And so we were able to wend our way along a beautifully empty and serene River Avon.

First stop was to get water and we then pulled back to moor so we could take all the picnic stuff across the park to the shade of a large hedge where we enjoyed the fare provided by Mr Marks and Mr Spencer.  Monty wore his cool coat most of the day and it certainly seemed to help keep him comfortable

When we got back to the boat this little motor launch was moored bang slap in the middle of the water point!

And so it was back on board for Sarah and Jamie whilst Paul, George and I walked to the first lock. The plan was for them to join us for the next two locks before walking back rescuing the car and heading for home

Heading for Colin P Witter lock

which has a lot of very heavy steel work to keep the lock shape due to the pressure of water.

We have certainly never seen one like this before

The locks on the Avon are relatively new and are only there thanks to many volunteers.  The locks are named after the major players, both in action and those who donated funds with boards naming those mainly concerned.

It did occur to us to wonder if the second from the bottom really is an ancestor of William?

Nb What a Lark came this way a couple of months ago and posted a picture of a swan on a nest at this lock – well this is the result of her labours

The next lock, Gordon Gray, was built in just 38 days by borstal boys back in the early 70's.  It commemorates a donor who made his fortune in the diamond mines in South Africa.

And so having seen us through this lock it was time to say farewell.  The outing was a last minute decision, but was a great success helped by the wonderful weather.

Snapping them

Snapping us

 And so we were on our own to explore what is new water to us and how serene and pretty it is

With some fabulous properties to admire

And this is for Sue from nb Cleddau – the perfect spot for getting lost in a good book.

A wonderful family day out – paddling from Stratford to Welford

When we saw a free mooring at Luddington with a tree for much needed shade we decided to call in quits and moor up

For the first time this trip the Pimms came out

As did the table and chairs along with the barbecue

After a while we realised that this spot was not so perfect - well not for Monty.  Somewhere very close by there was a shoot or a shooting range - the noise was fairly constant for almost a couple of hours and Monty does not do bangs!  You can see in the picture above his dinner uneaten while he took refuge on the boat with his ears pinned right back looking very sorry for himself.

It stopped eventually and Monty eventually ate his dinner.  At about 20:30 the dinner boat from Stratford came along, winded (turned round) and reversed onto the lock landing.  The passengers then got off

to stretch their legs and admire the weir. 

Luddington is a small dormitory village with no shop or pub, but it provided a gentle circuit for Monty and I for his morning stroll.  Right behind the moorings is this house, which is 
For Sale for a cool £1,000,000.  The sale comes with planning permission to replace it with a new even posher house!  

With your back to the river follow the path to the right and you will go past All Saints Church

It is certainly in a lovely setting

Then into what appears to be a very quiet main street

 If you turn left when you reach the street and then left again you will end up back at the boat - a very limited walk, but with the weather so hot I am glad to say that Monty has reached an age where sense tells him he does not need his usual few miles each day!

Apart from the shooting it was a brilliant mooring.


Boatwif said...

Hi Jennie,
You're absolutely right, gently afloat at the bottom of the garden, good book to hand, is my idea of bliss! I had had that very thought when we cruised by that little boat a few weeks ago...
Glad that you are enjoying the river. It's good to see the trainee lock keepers practising their skills!
Sue /Boatwif /nb Cleddau

Jennie said...

Hi Sue, just shows how well we know you. You and a book were the only things that came to mind as we sailed past! Trainees are shaping up well - we need to keep them in practice for when we next do Tardebigge. Jennie