Friday, 5 September 2014

Heading North to Banbury on the South Oxford Sept 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014

Day 73 Leaving Thrupp up to Heyford - 8 miles, 5 locks and 2 lift bridges
Day 74  Onwards to moor opposite the Pig Place - 7.5 miles, 5 locks and 1 lift bridge
Day 75  Northwards to Banbury Town Centre - 5.5 miles, 3 locks and 1 lift bridge

Continuing our cruise back to our winter base on the Shroppie, we are retracing our route on the South Oxford. See this link for one of the posts in August on the way down!
There was early rain in the air as we got ready to leave Thrupp, waiting for the excellent Cruising Club service dock to become free for a much needed pump out.

Chris holding down/open a lift bridge

Shortly after the Shipton Weir Lock onto the River Cherwell section - with a functional bridge

River Cherwell at summer levels

All that remains of the cement works at Enslow

A bit of a squeeze?!

A bridge to nowhere!?
This is the Caravan Lift Bridge No.215 that had collapsed and blocked the canal whilst we were at Yarnton 

Stone masonry to be re-used when CRT eventually re-build the bridge?

A sorry site?!

An interesting bridge with differing sides - this is at Allen's Lock on the way up to Aynho

Above Heyford Common Lock the pound was well down by 9" due to a severe leak in the byweir

Probably due to this, we had major difficulty getting into Somerton Deep Lock! At 12 foot deep the lock narrows at the bottom and the low pound level becomes crucial for deeper draughted boats like ours. Added to this is that the bottom gate was silted behind and wouldn't fully open - here I am on a helpful boater's bow trying to clear the silt. We got in eventually!

Chris manoeuvring in the strangely shaped Aynho Weir Lock - the additional width gives added water for it's shallow depth in order to supply the Somerton Deep Lock below

River Cherwell levels are low as we cross it - the weir to the left is well protected by substantial wooden piling
The old blacksmith's forge at King's Sutton Lock - apparently the name plate comes from the local railway station when it closed

Entering Grant's Lock - the lower pound was again quite low and we got stuck here as well and needed to drive the boat in against a slightly raised top paddle

Passing under the M40

Having got our next supply of shopping at Morrisons at Bridge 168, we moored in Banbury Centre for a couple of days

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