Monthly Archive: June 2011

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All routes lead to Whilton – don’t they?

Thursday 30th June: 1 mile west of Braunston to just north of Weedon, 10 miles, 13 locks PARENTAL GUIDANCE WARNING: DO NOT ALLOW YOUNG CHILDREN TO VIEW FINAL PICTURE                 A boat named Pandora was moored nearby last night. Her roof was used for storage: apart from poles, hoses and various plastic containers there was a large rooftop box.  The start of a new day travelling on the canals brings the opening of Pandora’s Box to mind: what will the...

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Ducks, debris and dumb barges

Wednesday 29th June: Bascote (Warks) to 1m west of Braunston (Northants), 8 miles, 13 locks                 “ Aw rite?”… Cleddau is back in “You alright?” territory, first recorded last summer on the North Oxford Canal.* These words have crossed the canal several times today, and on the final occasion its speaker could not have been more cheerful.  It was about 6pm and Boatwif was taking an evening amble along the towpath when from a boat on the...

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Flowers, fountains – and a fan

Tuesday 28th June: Warwick to Bascote, 10 miles, 12 locks     This morning for the first time the battery state of charge read as below 50%. Why? Because yesterday’s cruising was all over by 11am, the fridge was working flat out in the heat – and so hot was it that the Tesco-bought electric desk fan was dug out of a cupboard and turned ON! After mooring up the manager at the Saltisford Trust moorings had rattled off facilities, which...

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21 giant watery steps…

Monday 27th June: Rowington (Grand Union) to Saltisford Arm, Warwick, 6 miles, 21 locks The heat yesterday, the weather forecast for today, the presence of the Dutch barge moored just three hundred yards ahead and a secret ambition of the Captain’s to boat at dawn lead to an alarm clock ringing at 5am… On the radio the World Service was still broadcasting.  At 0535 the engine was eased into life and Cleddau crept past the other boats moored nearby.  The...

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Whose space is it anyway?

Sunday 26th June: Lowsonford (Stratford Canal) to Rowington, Warwickshire (Grand Union), 3.5 miles, 10 locks.                 By mid-evening on Saturday two Anglo-Welsh hire boats out of Wootton Wawen had moored in front of Cleddau. Their crews were travelling together, a British family and folk from Monterey (California) and Oregon.                The destination for today was never to be far, but to secure a position above the famous Hatton Locks (21 in a single flight). It was as the Captain went...

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Charitable Concerns

Saturday 25th June: Wilmcote to Lowsonford, 7.5 miles, 9 locks                 After heavy rain yesterday evening and during the night it was bound to be a soggy start today.  Just after 9am Cleddau’s engine was started – just as sixty walkers were trooping down on to the towpath to start a 20 mile charity walk. For the first mile or so Cleddau shadowed the black T-shirted pack.   Gradually the pack began to spread out along the towpath as faster walkers...

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The Stratford Experience – in Three Parts

Friday 24th June: River Avon, Stratford to Wilmcote, Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, 3.5 Miles, 17 locks     Decades ago, when still not even a school pupil, Boatwif first fell under the spell of speech radio.  At a quarter to two every afternoon, tum te tum, tum te tum, it was time for Listen With Mother. A nursery rhyme came first and then a story, then a closing rhyme.   “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin,” the clear tones of Daphne Oxenford...

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Midsummer Frolics

Tuesday 21st June:  Pershore to Stratford-upon-Avon, 9.5 miles, 6 locks                 Here in a front row mooring on Midsummer’s Evening Stratford is as its most beguiling best. Cleddau is directly opposite the theatre. Pre-show drinkers have sipped their drinks on the Bancroft terrace and gazed at us; the Cleddau crew have gazed back at the interval drinkers, and, more interestingly, at the actors on their balconies outside their dressing rooms.   Why is there a male in a long cream coloured...

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Is water liquid gold? (Or the right and the wrong sort of water)

Monday 20th June: Evesham to Bidford-on-Avon,     9.25 miles, 4 locks                 Since being on the Avon boaters coming downstream towards us have complained vociferously about poor facilities. To cruise on the waterways you need a licence and a BW (British Waterways) licence grants you permission to travel far and wide on the canals. Separate licences are required for waterways like the River Avon, the River Thames, the Rivers Nene and Great Ouse (and others). So a BW licence holder needs...

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And the band played…

Saturday’s blog failed to appear until Sunday morning: if you missed it do check out Adventures on the Avon below before reading Sunday’s submission. Sunday 19th June: Pershore to Evesham, 11.5 miles, 3 locks It was a late start from Pershore this morning, Boatwif keen to hear the Abbey bells first.  The mooring was beside the town’s recreation ground. By 10am it was empty, the other boats having gone and no runners or ballgame players in view.  Just one sole...