Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Barton (still coining it in on the back of Shakespeare)

Sunday promised to be a fine day so after we did some more potting up of summer plants, Karen and I took Buddy for a walk.  The aim was to end up in Bidford on Avon so we could check out the moorings and services there.

The bridge at Bidford on Avon – we will have to come through the right hand arch

The bridge was built in the 15th century and has withstood the many floods since then.  All the country lanes near the river around here have height markers indicating the depth of water in times of flood.

Approaching Bidford across the water meadows

Although it’s a large village/small town there were only moorings for about four narrowboats and they were full because a steam fair was being held in the town.  I’ll probably bring the boat down on Tuesday when it’ll be quieter anyway – we will need water by then too which is available at the moorings.

Like Stratford on Avon, Bidford on Avon still rides on the back of Shakespeare.  There is a pub that claims he regularly drank in it and the local Morris troupe are called Shakespeare’s Morris Men.
On the way back we were going to pop into the pub in Barton but there were no tables available outside.  As it was such a nice day we decided to carry on and have a drink back at the boat rather than be indoors inside the pub.

The Cottage of Content at Barton complete with Victorian letterbox on cottage next to it almost covered by hollyhocks

When we got back Karen baked me a cake for the week - 😊

Monday seemed to be wet all day but Buddy and I had a good walk in the morning around part of the Heart of England forest.  I was a bit shocked when I came up to what I thought was a large clearing.  What must have been a five acre patch had been cleared and levelled and a new house was nearing completion.

Bit of a shock find – but what a fantastic setting – just above the flood plain too

Another clearing in the Heart of England forest - this time with a Buddy in it

Nearly back home

A group of girls came down the river in about a dozen canoes later in the day.  They were practising for a 100-mile charity canoe ride later in the year.  Their leaders found a way over the weir and there were delighted screams for five minutes as they all followed.  

Thinking of 100-mile canoe rides reminded me of the annual Devizes to Westminster race held at Easter.  This runs along the Kennet and Avon canal from Devizes to Reading and then up the River Thames.  As we used to be based on the K&A we saw the race a few times.  One year, Robin, the son of friends of ours, participated.  He did extremely well, completing it with just one overnight stop at Reading.  That year we were watching at Kintbury lock and I will always remember Sharon, his mum, stuffing food in his mouth as he and his friend ported the canoe over the lock.

Pilgrim’s lock is to the right and we are moored just behind it – the weir the girls were going down is to the left

Us from above the lock

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