Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wilmcote (first ducklings we’ve seen this year)

We had been moored at Edstone aqueduct for two weeks so on Tuesday Jo and I had a little cruise down to Wilmcote.  Although there were quite a few boats on the move during the day the Wilmcote visitor moorings were empty.  In the main summer months you would be hard pressed to find a spot to park at Wilmcote.

Our mooring at Wilmcote
The visitor moorings are limited to 48 hours between April and September so we moored right at the edge so we can stay for up to two weeks if we wish.

Wilmcote is popular with Shakespeare tourists as his mother, Mary Arden, lived there.  Her farm has been restored and is open to the public.  It always seems busy when we walk past and it is one of those places where the guides are dressed in the costume of the period.  It's quite funny that in 2000 it was discovered that it wasn't Mary Arden's farm, it belonged to a neighbour, so the wrong house has been preserved.  Fortuitously Mary's family's real home had also been preserved as part of the farm buildings so at least it is still identifiable even if most tourists won't know.

When Karen came home from work we went for a walk into the village and popped in for a quick drink at the Mason’s Arms.

I forgot to mention that on Friday I met the lady who lives in the old wharf cottage at Edstone aqueduct.  She was really chatty and gave me loads of information which I have promptly forgotten.  She did recall that when her father returned from WWII that the family weren’t aware of his imminent return (as was often the case) and he walked the two miles from Wilmcote station along the towpath!

Greatly extended wharf cottage - we're moored in the distance on the right

The wharf was used for loading local limestone onto barges and also locally made needles.  It has been in her family for generations and was built by her great, great, great grandfather.  I told her that we were really envious as it was in such a perfect location – no noise, fantastic views and not another house in sight.  She agreed that it would be impossible to move.

I had hoped she would be able to explain why there was a Victorian post box on the lane up to Newnham.  It had puzzled me as there are no houses, other than hers, around for a long way.  I had thought that maybe there were once and they had been knocked down.  I especially thought this as a couple of the fields have quite ornate iron fences round them.  She said that she has no record of houses in the area and she has some quite old maps to substantiate it.

I had explained we were going away for the weekend and she kindly offered to keep an eye on the boat for us.

View from the front of the house with more extensions

It seems quite a grey day this morning, Wednesday, but it has just been brightened by our first ducklings of the year being brought over to our open hatch by their mother.

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