Found a Gem at Hungerford 17th August 2019

Dave knocked on the door at 8.45am this morning asking when we might head off down the cut and could he join us as the internet and TV connection where we were moored up was very limited. We never say no to having a dancing partner.

This video is of Toby a Cocopoo off NB Ella who we met up with last night. There has been an instant bonding between the two dogs and when it has been dry they have played well together.

The predicted weather was semi OK until 1.00pm and then Hughie was going to 100% dump on us until midnight. The town of Hungerford is only 2.5 hours up the cut and we were hoping internet and TV reception would be better up there plus there was a Tesco’s where we could resupply. It probably sounds like all we ever do is resupply the larder but it is more to do with the size of your fridge which in boaters cases is usually a bar fridge.

We did the last couple of locks and swing bridges in the rain but with the two boys on the ground working very quickly we didn’t get too wet.

We probably should have been doing these videos daily off the Pearson’s book to give everyone a better appreciation of our travels though they can be deceptive as they are very diagrammatic.

Once moored we donned all our wet weather clobber and walked the short distance into town. We didn’t know much about Hungerford but we developed an instant liking to the Main Street. Whilst wandering up trying to find a coffee shop to get out of the rain we came across this very old arcade. It looked like a co-op where you rented a space and showed off your wares.

They had everything second hand imaginable in the place. Most of it was definitely estate stuff with cut crystal glasses, Royal Doulton figurines by the myriad, canes, jewellery and other bric-a-brac. There was a glass cabinet with tops hats and we saw prices of £400 on them. Reckon that some of these prices were negotiable.

Oh, did we mention there were a few books stores there. Now these were cheap – £1 to £2 a book.

In the very roof where it was just a titch warm, was a beaut little tea shop. It had a resident one year old Cocker Spaniel earning lots of pats and a very nice atmosphere. We had tried a couple of coffee shops prior to finding this one but they both forbade dogs. The rule in England about dogs in cafés, is that it is up to the owners discretion and it has nothing to do with health regulations, except all dogs must be on leashes and not have access to the kitchen. Even as a dog owner, we find this very liberal but for us handy. We had a coffee and bun and then headed out.

One did have to be but a trifle careful of one’s noggin when negotiating one’s way out of the arcade.

There were three wonderful floors of stuff to browse around and would have liked to have spent another few hours in there but we did have boring food shopping to do, in the rain.

After a brief visit to the local Tesco we trudged back to the boat along what was now a very muddy towpath. Could you have imagined what the condition of these towpaths would have been like back in the day when you had many horses plodding up and down every day and all day, as the flyboats went 24/7. Flyboats were your Fedex Express in the day. It was a tough life and let us not get into what the cramped living conditions on the boats was like.

Back on Ange De L’Eau and the fire cranked up as a little cool but more than anything to keep the dampness out of the boat. It just continued to pour for the remainder of the day so after all our chores were done we broke open the Poldark DVD W+M have on the boat and proceeded to watch a few episodes.

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