While Carolyn raises the lift bridge I pass Tooley’s Boatyard,which is situated in the heart of Banbury ,it has the oldest working dry dock on the Inland Waterways, having been in continuous use since 1790. It also has an 86′ dry dock which is fully covered and heated. Also on-site is the 200 year-old forge which is in regular use by blacksmiths. Also they had 42 quid of mine as we had to buy a new riddle for our stove from them after ours fell to bits.
We have certainly been blessed with the amount of good friends we have made since we started life on Inca. Amongst them are Bob and Jan (nb Small Dreams) who have been brilliant during our time in Banbury and have invited us to their house on a couple of occasions plus giving Carolyn a day out in Oxford and a trip in their car to do a big shop at a local out of town supermarket. Fortunatley they plan to be in Rugby in a few weeks when we are there ,so we will meet up again before we head North for the Summer and they head South.
First lock of the day and I grab the windlass and set the lock for Carolyn. I’m happy to jump over the gates even though my legs are not that long. Carolyn will not jump so she has to walk all the way around to open and close the gate on the other side. I need the exercise so it wont do me any harm unless I fall in.
We arrive at Little Bourton lock and it’s such a shame that the Lockkeepers cottage is empty. There is a sign that says that it is owned by boaters but with no way of getting to it by road and being a bit isolated, I think it will only be a matter of time before it succumbs to the elements .
Heading up through the Claydon flight of five locks and the skies behind us start to turn rather grey . After another hours cruising we reached Fenny Compton and managed to moor up before the skies opened. We hope to be on the move again tomorrow but with low tempeartues forecast and the threat of the canal freezing over we will just have to wait and see what the morning brings.