Just In The Nick Of Time. 15th September

Semington Aquaduct to Bradford Lock


The music stopped at a reasonable hour last night, no need to walk up the towpath and ask politely so we got a good nights sleep. We were ready to push off a little after 9am hoping that we’d manage to get a mooring at either Bradford upon Avon or Avoncliff today.


The water was busy, predominantly hire boats, we’ve now started to see boats from hire bases further west and quite a few day boats about the place too. The going was slow, so many moored boats, would it be like this now all the way to Bath and beyond?

Hamster puffed out cheeks

One swing bridge kept me occupied for a short while, than it was back to looking at all the boats. Big fat ones, little tiny ones, some with the world piled on their roof, other their world piled on the towpath.


At Hilperton we noted the diesel price as it is the lowest we’ve seen for some time, we’ll be stopping to top up there on the way back.

Not an appealing mooring

A stretch of 2 day moorings had new signs but nobody was moored there, maybe because it’s not deep enough! Gravel visibly shallowing the water in places.

Something’s wrong, where are all the moored boats?

Coming into Bradford we were following a widebeam. They were obviously looking for a mooring and had tried one place with no luck, so were reversing back towards us to try another spot. With someone on the bank to try to pull them in they flung ropes ashore. We passed as they were seeing if their gang plank would reach up the steep bank. Looking back after a few minutes they obviously hadn’t got far enough into the side and were now following us.

Does anyone know what these posts are for? Not a visitors mooring.

Fingers crossed for a 48hr mooring we rounded the bend towards Bradford Lock. A space, quick! We pulled in, not getting quite to the edge. It looked like there might be another gap a few boats ahead so I walked up to pace it out to see if we’d fit. Yes! We moved along and slotted in, the space we’d just left very soon filled by a hire boat.

Bradford Lock

A quick cat health and safety check of the area discovered a car park just behind the trees next to our mooring. That was instantly a no, sorry Tilly. The area was so busy with numerous people out enjoying the warm sunny weather there was no chance Tilly would like it anyway. A wide beam at the pumpout were wondering where to moor, they’d seen our space and had been hoping for it, instead they would have to most probably clamber through undergrowth and up a bank further out of town. It appeared that if we’d been five minutes later we’d not have got a space.

This is what nightmares are made of

A tidy up and a sweep through followed by showers, we were expecting visitors. Anne (one of my sister-out-laws) and Alasdair arrived for a cuppa and a chat. They were down from Scotland on a spot of baby sitting and we just so happen to have coincided with them being in the area. We then hopped in their car and were whisked away to Corsham where Sam and Duncan (Mick’s nephew) live with their children Tilly and Thomas. They used to live nearer Devizes and we’d hoped to have some child slave labour to help at the locks, but we’d managed okay without.

Mick, Anne, Sam, Alasdaire, Duncan

We arrived before bedtime so had chance to spend a little time with Tilly and Thomas, doing magic painting and being slightly disturbed by a baby doll that moves it’s lips, limbs and eyes, freaky! Then we had a very pleasant evening chatting away and enjoyed a very yummy fish and squash curry pie that Duncan had made. They may come and visit us on our way back if the timing is suitable.


0 locks, 4.97 miles, 1 swing bridge, 1 bruised stumpy, 1 clean boat, 1 bored Tilly, 1 sister-out-law, 2 little people, 2 not so little people, 100, 1,000,000, 1 freaky doll, 1 rainbow, 1 yummy fish pie.