Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fenny Compton will do for now.

Saturday 12th September 2020

Graham was up with the larks and off to fetch the car from Shipton on Cherwell. He placed it at Fenny Compton and then returned to Jannock for breakfast.

Question of the day – “Do you think the overnight lock flight closure has been put in place to deter

No Moo ing

hirers?” – from an older boater – Answer erm No! After-all, they wont know about it in advance and are unlikely to change their minds and just not have their booked and paid-for holiday! Brenda explained that the reservoir was short of water to feed the canal but was told that we’d had plenty of rain recently. He’d obviously forgotten about the scorchio spring we had.

Moored at /// basher.firepower.sums
We climbed the five Claydon locks and then continued on through the ‘tunnel’ to Fenny Compton. The offside moorings along this section have certainly expanded since we last came this way, they have established gardens and everything.

We passed the Wharf Inn and went under the road bridge to moor up. There was a lovely gap with a
short hireboat moored right in the middle of it so Graham asked if they would mind moving either forwards or backwards so that Jannock could tie up. They moved forwards half a boat length which allowed us in behind.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Cropredy – where we used to moor ages ago.

Friday 11th September 2020

We cast off at 9:50 and made our way to Grants lock with some sadness that the lock cottage has recently been burnt out. 

A descending boater had obviously put on weight during lock-down and now

Tooleys boatyard

his boat was jammed in the lock and couldn’t get out.  He pushed and he shoved to no avail so Graham suggested he pull his fenders up – that sorted it!

Onto tramway visitor moorings where we stopped for a provision run to Morrisons. Larder replenished we continued on to Banbury hoping to fill with water below the lock. Another boat was there doing water and elsan so we passed up the lock and filled at the tap in the first basin. Through the liftbridge and into the centre of an enormous building site.

Onto Cropredy, fondly remembered for the first five years we owned Jannock because we moored at

Old Mill. The gates at Slat Mill lock appear to have damaged cills and so the Cropredy pound was over 30cms down in level. This meant keeping to the centre of the channel and passing a fuel boat and other southbound boats very carefully.

Little Bourton Lock Cottage

Once through Cropredy lock normal water levels were experienced again. We moored for the night at the bottom of
Claydon locks as they are closed overnight until 10am tomorrow due to water shortages. ///


During our evening constitutional we happened across fellow Cutweb members aboard nb Elysium, also waiting for the locks, so we had a socially distanced chat with them for a while.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Where do we go now!

Thursday 10th September 2020

Wildlife of the day – Roe deer in a field by the canal.

Surprise of the day – A Tornado fighter jet flying over us, low and banking steeply as we moored up.

We set off from the quarry at 9:45, glad to be back on the canals again. There were plenty of boats

coming the other way so only one lock had to be turned before we could use it.

At Lower Heyford, the hire base was devoid of boats showing that the international travel restrictions were having a good effect of home-grown holidays. Once we were through Mill lift bridge, luckily opened by the boat ahead of us, we started meeting plenty of Oxfordshire hireboats heading back to base – I suspect that a lot of their business has been midweek and weekend short breaks rather than week long holidays.

We learnt to day that Jannock’s winter quarters may be at risk! The marina owners bank have called in the official receivers in order to realise the value of the property to pay off the debts. We suppose that’s better than the stories of CaRT & baillifs visits that we’d heard before we came away. It must be a huge worry for the folk who live on their boats in the marina. With Covid it has become a more solid supportive community there which to us is a more desireable thing. Shame if that breaks down.

I suspect we’ll now proceed slowly back in that direction whilst waiting to see what happens at Brinklow and investigating alternative mooring arrangements if needed.

We continued up through Somerton, Aynho wharf, Nell Bridge and Kings Sutton to finally moor for the night near Twyford bridge (/// posed.pesky.outdoors ) With hindsight, we might have had a quieter overnight mooring if we’d gone under the M40 and continued on into Banbury.

A timelapse video from Kirtlington quarry to Somerton mill can be viewed at

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Short run to warm the engine.

Wednesday 9th September 2020

Another week has passed and social restrictions have been tightened. This time evidence shows that it’s kids and young adults who are the problem – better off boating then.

Shipton Weir Lock

We boarded Jannock at lunchtime but it was 2:45pm before we finally left the mooring near Shipton bridge. Our first lock was shared with another boat, the owners of which didn’t think they could, as it was a diamond shaped lock up onto the River Cherwell. It was designed this way to extract as much water as possible from the river each time it was used in order to keep the canal topped up.

The sun finally came out as we were nearing Kirtlington Quarry, an old favourite mooring of ours – so we did!

Graham planned to do a 200 hour engine service (oil, filter and gearbox oil) whilst the weather was nice. Brenda remembered the blackberries were always nice here so off she went foraging. She went right up to the top of the quarry and found alovely quiet spot to sit and look out over the miles of counrtyside listening to natures soundtrack.

On her return to Jannock she cooked a batch of blackberry and wild mint muffins and a tray of Blackberry Oat bars.

Our mooring at Kirtlington Quarry was /// coins.danger.fallback

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Off the Thames onto the Oxford canal

Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Wildlife of the day – Kingfishers and Egrets

Port Meadow Bridge
A later start that we’d hoped but once we’d got to Jannock by bus, unpacked and then got her stern free from the shoal she was firmly sat on we made good time. You can see on the first video below that we had to pole Jannock out and let the current take her round to get off the shoal, narrowly missing some rowers - who had been warned by their trainer.

Once on our way and after a lovely couple of days land-side, the rain started. It was that light rain which really soaks you. Port Meadow is lovely in the sunshine – but not pleasant at all when you are steering against the wind in light rain!

Dukes Cut

We turned into Dukes cut and were welcomed to the canal again by a long line of almost derelict boats. Sadly most of them will be homes.

Thrupp lift bridge
As we approached Kidlington, we met Simon and Janette
heading South, we managed a brief chat with them before continuing on to Thrupp. We stopped for water before the road bridge, out side the cottages. Brenda operated the lift bridge at Thrupp whilst depositing a large number of surplus books onto the charity bookshelf at the same time. We then continued on past all the club moorings and found a place for Jannock on a shallow bend in the 14 days moorings.

It was almost dark and still raining when we had eventually tied up at /// gurgling.shock.screaming

A video of our very wet trip from Folly Bridge to Godstow lock can be found at and from Kings Lock to Thrupp can be seen at

 The bit in the middle, complete with mooring rope hung across the camera lens can be found at