Saturday, 27 May 2017

Chadbury (didn’t stay at Evesham long)

Another hot day was forecast for Friday so Buddy and I set off early for Evesham.  We took on water at Offenham lock and then were back in open countryside.

After leaving Offenham lock

We called in at the boatyard just before Evesham to top up with fuel and get a pump out.  I also got filters and oil etc. ready for the next engine service.

Karen had got hold of four old go-kart tyres from a chap she works with so I also got some lengths of line to make them into fenders.  Normally our rope fenders are fine when we moor up but sometimes we need something wider if there is a shelf or other underwater obtrusion.

Buddy oblivious to the tractor giving us a pump out

In the boatyard, there were several signs showing the flood level of different years.  I remarked how high the 1948 level was; I was told that 2007 was even higher and you couldn’t see the top of the flood safe mooring poles.  Apparently, they only lost one boat and that was one of the workers – he had spent a lot of time taking care of all the other boats he didn’t spot his was going to tip over as the water subsided.

In 2007 the river came just above the line between the dark and light bricks to the right of the tree under the bridge

We soon reached Evesham and a pretty but quite difficult lock to negotiate – not made any easier by having to share with another narrowboat.  When the river is flowing faster it must be quite tricky getting into this particular lock.

Pretty Evesham lock

Next we approached Workman Bridge which is in the centre of town and where I knew there were plenty of moorings opposite the water meadows.

Workman bridge built in 1856

I moored up and went to find where Karen could park the car after work.  To our luck the road running next to the river had free parking so just the place to leave the car for the weekend whilst we cruise on to Worcester.  There’s a train line back to Evesham from Worcester so we can pick the car up on Monday.

I shouldn’t have been surprised but the town was full of foreigners – they were mainly eastern European and probably mostly Poles.  I say I shouldn’t have been surprised and that’s because we’re in a major fruit growing area and hordes of them either live here or come over in the summer to work for the local gangmasters.  It used to be like this when we lived in Kent which was another fruit growing area.

I was talking to a homeless person in Stratford recently and he told me that he always managed to get seasonal work on farms but nowadays it’s impossible because of the gangmasters only taking on their own people.

Evesham was probably quite a pretty town once but seems to be quite run down now with lots of boarded up shops.

Market square

Older style buildings

Looking back to Workman bridge from our mooring

Looking from Workman bridge – we’re the last boat on the left so plenty of spare mooring spots

When Karen got home from work we decided to cruise on and find some moorings in the country and have a barbecue.  The other narrowboat moored in Evesham decided to move on too but that was because they couldn’t get a TV signal.

At the lock we had seen this sign warning us of a rope ferry.  The ferryman pulls the boat across the river using a raised rope.  When boats come past he drops the rope under the water which is why you have to give the warning.

Ferry information board

Ferry crossing the river as we approached

Soon after the ferry we passed this old building but haven’t managed to find out what it was

There was space for one narrowboat to moor at Chadbury lock and as it was in the sun and nice and private we moored up for the night and had a barbecue.

Our mooring for Friday night – yes, I moved the barbecue to the pontoon once I lit it so it would save the grass

A family of swans spent all evening with us swimming around the boat.

Couple of cygnets getting a ride

This is Chadbury lock but I’m not sure it needed a Union flag!

As we were having a drink waiting for the meal a trip boat pulled up to go through the lock.  It was a guy's 50th birthday celebration and he seemed to have his children and friends with him.  They were quite a subdued lot but the girls loved it when I pretended to pick the wrong birthday guy and made various comments about baldness etc.  It seemed to break the ice and they were a lot cheerier as they left the lock.

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