Lived on-board Hadar

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Banbury to Chropredy.

Saturday 5th July.

Banbury to Cropredy. 3.9 miles and 3 locks.

Rain was pitter pattering on the back cabin roof, as we were woken up by goings on at the bakery opposite the mooring. According to the clock it was only 6.30am yawn and now that we had been woken up, the only thing for it was to have a cup of tea. Marmite strode across the bed tail waving as if to say yes they are getting up. Having made a cuppa we lay in bed deciding whether we should stay put or move off. We had been on the mooring for almost the 48 hours limit so we should move, but the sound of the rain did not fill us with wild excitement.
We eventually climbed out of bed and Marmite did get her breakfast, which stopped her moaning for five minutes. To take Paddy for his walk I donned my wet weather gear and off we went around the park. The rain began to subside, with glimmers of blue sky pushing through the heavy clouds. With the prospect of some sunshine we decided that we would travel to Cropedy, it was only a short trip of a couple of hours if there was a mooring available. When we set off at 8.55 am the sky was still dark in places, but there was very little wind and the sun was trying to come out.
We crept passed moored craft along the canal and at Grimsbury Wharf, before reaching Hardwich Lock 7’6”, the locks now go back to double bottom gates, making life a little easier. Once again we passed under the M40, the third time in two days we have seen this motorway, and still the traffic thunders along. The River Cherwell follows the canal to Little Bourton Lock 6’5”, where sadly the lock cottage has seen better days. It used to be beautiful with a well tended garden. The garden has now been taken over by nature. We did however see lots of raspberries, if it had not been the fact that another boat was coming down we may have stopped and picked a few of the raspberries for a pudding. Slat Mill Lock 8’0” was the last for the day, with a boat waiting to go down after we exited the lock. There are some pretty views across the Cherwell valley from this lock. With the sun now out it made everything look so fresh after the early morning rain.
We approached Cropredy after passing under Cropredy Mill Bridge, there were no moorings free on the 14 days moorings so we carried on to Cropredy Wharf Bridge where we found a mooring just below The Bridge Store which is a Spar shop and is most useful. Opposite the mooring is the canoe club, who were out enjoying the water and the sunshine. Having got ourselves sorted, we had lunch, I went to the shop for a few extras and then we took a walk around the village of Cropredy.There is a sanitary station just by Cropredy Wharf Bridge, with toilet facilities and a skip for rubbish. The store is very good with all provisions for a boater in need.The village itself is really pretty with its old brick and honey coloured sandstone houses. The Red Lion pub has had a new thatched roof put on since we were here last.
The bells of St. Mary’s Church began to peel, suggesting a wedding was in the offing, so we continued out stroll in that direction, to see a horse and trap appear with bridesmaids onboard. The girls were wearing strapless burgundy coloured dresses, but I reckon with the chilly breeze they would of like to have had shawls on as well. It was also showery with no where to shelter whilst they waited for the bride. Goose bumps on goose bumps looked to be the picture of the day for the girls.Not wanting to be nosy we did not linger to see the bride arrive. We didn’t think she would want a couple of tatty boater’s gauping at her and her party ha ha ha. So we continued on our way, enjoying the pretty stone cottages that would have looked good on the front of any chocolate box.I love thatched cottages, as I grew up in one such cottage many years ago. So they have a soft spot in my heart.
Having done one half of the village we then walked over the Cropredy Wharf Bridge to the other side of the canal to find the site of the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, which took place 29th June 1644.The battle took place in fields near the bridge during the First English Civil War. The Royalists were lead by King Charles the first and the Parliament’s by Sir William Waller. Another part of our history which so very few ever know about, but it changed our history forever.
Walk over between the sunshine and heavy showers, we were back on Hadar for the rest of the day.

Sunday 6th July.

What a night and what a morning, the rain has been pretty persistent, only now at 1pm has the sun come out, but we know not for how long. It seems the forecasters got it correct for a change, although it has not stopped people moving, even if they look cheesed off with the rain ha ha ha. We on the other hand have decided to stay put.
Paddy got a drizzly walk along the towpath and back again, he was just glad to get back on the boat into the dry and have his biscuit. Keith cooked us a breakfast of Sausages, bacon, poached eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes mmmm and very good it was too.
Being Sunday it was bake day so I baked a lemon drizzle cake and a quiche which we will have for dinner tonight. The rest of the day will be spent pottering around the boat getting indoor jobs done and listening to the radio. So with nothing much to report I will bid you farewell for another week, see you next week all being well.


Diana said...

Cropredy looks like the classic English village - it's beautiful!

Anonymous said...

You see such a lot of pretty places on your travels! And your description are vivid! I feel I am with you in the watery sunshine! Poor Paddy getting drizzled on - but our dogs do the same, hurry back home for their biscuits!