Saturday, May 21, 2011

On through Cropredy

Saturday 21st May

During last night’s tour of closed down shops and abandoned pubs imaginatively entitled ‘Banbury’s interesting architecture’ I spotted a Majestic Wine Warehouse just up Castle Street from the Quay. This morning, having fitted the new shorter gear change cable, I took Jannock’s folding sack truck and restocked with four cases of beer whilst Brenda shopped successfully for some new jeans – weeks of endeavour now over ;^). She also went to photograph some of the buildings for the log and Banbury architecture was asked what her interest was in the old Co-op building was. The enquiries were from an Australian couple who’d been photographing it earlier having discovered that her ancestor had founded the Banbury Co-op Soc. She’d been told of antecedents in the town and had been to the library to research it. They were overjoyed to identify the relative and find the Co-op and his home only a couple of streets away from each other. They’d also been entranced by Tooleys Yard and asked why on earth a large development had been built around it. Brenda explained it’s history, significance and listed building status as well as trying to explain the effort that went in to preserving it.

Once she’d returned to the boat we set off North, along a bit of canal that we haven’t travelled since we left our Cropredy mooring in 2005. It was interesting to notice the changes since our last visit. A lot of bank protection has been completed but unfortunately the Grass Snakekeepers cottage at Bourton lock is now empty and someone’s had the slates off of the extension roof. Shame but a notice on the door says that it has been bought by local boaters so I hope they manage to do something with it. On through Cropredy and only one boat still moored at Old Mill who was there when we were, everyone else must have moved on as we did.

As Jannock ascended through Claydon bottom lock I noticed a grass snake swimming in the canal just above the top gate and managed to get a picture on my phone before it hurried of under the trees on the off-side.

We decided to moor up on the summit, the first place we tried found Jannock pivoting on an underwater obstacle meaning I could get either the bow or stern against the bank but not both. We moved on 200m and found another spot where she fitted nicely against the bank. I then returned to Twyford Wharf on the Di Blasi to fetch the car whilst Brenda tidied up and prepared for home.


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