14th September 2016
This morning we bid adieu to nb Waiouru and her crew of Tom and Jan and headed into the lovely town of Evesham for a bit of a squiz. In the photo below, try not to compare nb Lucy to nb Waiouru as that is like comparing a Model T-Ford against an Aston Martin.
Last night when we were eventually tucked up in bed, we were lulled to sleep by the chiming of the clock on the Bell Tower. It chimed every 15 minutes until midnight which was terribly thoughtful of it. It commenced it’s quarter hourly tune at 7.00am which to lazy canal boaters is acceptable but only just. Our mooring was on the opposite bank to the Bell Tower but the surrounding gardens and park land was extremely pleasing to the eye and senses. This is certainly one of our nicer moorings in a village.
The village of Evesham has many tudor style buildings of quite some age as can be seen by the degree of lean.
The photo below really doesn’t do the high street much justice but it was a busy little place with the usual array of charity shops but there were a number of independent stores which is refreshing.
On our wander Di came across her next car!!! This is the four wheel drive version of the latest in shopping carts and she has been very envious when she has seen these on her travels. Next time we do a canal trip (many eons in the future) she is going to invest heavily into this upgraded model.
So after our little sojourn and a cup of coffee and shouldn’t mention this but a trip to the lolly store we headed back to set off for the day of which we should do about three and a half hours cruising.
We have four double locks to do today and our first one of the day we breasted up with nb Amy. Now what is of interest to the reader about this particular photo is the “A” framed building which is the lock keepers house. The River Avon is notorious for flooding and along the way we have seen some flood markers which we have been very lax in capturing a picture of. But, this photo will give you an appreciation of the flood levels as the “A” frame was submerged to just below the windows in the 2007 floods.
There is of course a current on the river and with a weir at every lock you need to have your wits about you as the boat is getting pulled from pillar to post. Makes us like rivers even less but the River Avon is particularly pretty so tolerable.
Now the picture of this interesting edifice is of a stranded lighthouse. The plaque doesn’t tell you much about it except it seems to have been built for the pleasure of it. One of many little curios along the way.
The area we are currently in is well known as a fruit growing center with an abundance of apple and pear trees and also many glass houses which cultivate tomato plants.
We won’t go into a lot of detail about Robert Aickman except to say that he was one of the most influential figures of the post war inland waterway renaissance. Returning navigation to the Avon was dear to his heart. Well known to all canal buffs.
Now you have heard us carry on about sightings of Kingfishers and how we have never managed to capture a picture of one and am sure many of you have thought that we were just full of it – well – here is our proof!! Couldn’t believe that as we were just cruising down an area of the river that was heavily weeded and wooded there sitting on a fisherman’s wharf was one of these fantastic little fellows. He just let us cruise by him hoping we would not notice him but eagle eye Di got him. We tried to reverse up a little to get a closer shot but he then decided that enough was enough and took off.
We pulled into Bidford-on-Avon tonight which unfortunately does not offer a lot of mooring but in the end this worked in our favour as we breasted up next to Amy who just happened to be moored at the back of the pub. We met a few other boaters and spent a most pleasurable evening having a great chin-wag. This really is the life. Toque’s played with Doris from Amy and we spent a good couple of hours with Simon and Grant kicking the can around.
We were a little recalcitrant and lost sight of Maples for a minute and once again she had headed into the pub and straight into the kitchen. We have been getting concerned about her vision and hearing but don’t think we need to worry about her sense of smell. Luckily for us the publican was accommodating.
Just in front of our mooring tonight is a 15th century bridge with seven arches of which none are alike in size or shape. This one though, we do not go through the highest and largest arch but to one more on the right – probably to do with depth.
It has been a wonderfully warm day of 26c and this has brought many picnickers, swimmers and sports people out. This gentleman and his daughter were practising canoe polo techniques and it transpires that he was the 2002 canoe polo champion.
Di just went out to the back of the boat to check on Fraser and the group of elderly gentlemen who are kicking around the can has now grown. One just informed the group that he was the Swaffhaf/Northham lawn mowing champion of 1972. What can you say to beat that one!!!! Think they were all feeling intimidated by the buff guy in the canoe.