Bradford on Avon to Seend Bottom Lock 17
A cuppa in bed with yesterdays paper with a pretty good view out of the window, bliss.
Once up, breakfasted and enough layers on I popped down to have a look at the Tithe Barn. Both it’s doors were wide open inviting the light and myself inside.
The amount of timber in there and the number of joints! Very impressive. The roof beams have been analysed and the timber dates from 1334 to 1379. In the 1950’s major work was carried out to preserve the building by the Ministry of Works, now English Heritage.
Time to get moving, I’ve a panto to get to.
As I’d just pushed the bow out a chap walked by with a windlass, a hire boat heading back to Foxhangers, we could team up with them to do the lock. A day boat was just coming down so our two boats came into the prepared lock. A gongoozler was concerned that someone’s shoes were getting wet in the bow of the hire boat, I indicated to Mick that they should nudge back as they were right up against the cil. The paddles were raised and we were on our way up.
More boats waited to come down and one chap asked, ‘Is there a reason this paddle hasn’t been lifted all the way?’ This was said in either an I don’t understand manor or that I was a woman so therefore didn’t know what I was doing! I pointed out that there was no more paddle to lift to which he just said ‘Oh!’
Mick had stocked up yesterday, but one or two things were still needed. This was luckily remembered before we left the lock, so I hopped off and walked up to Sainsburys picked up what was wanted and returned to the canal at the next bridge where Mick had pulled in just behind NB Sanity at Last, who we’d shared locks with on the other side of the summit over a month ago.
Onwards to Hilperton where we pulled in to top up the diesel tank, we only needed about 30 litres but at 72p it wasn’t to be missed. A couple more bags of coal and we were on our way again.
I’d brought home some pasties so 30 minutes on gas mark 4 and they were nicely heated through for a lunch break at the bottom of Semington Locks. As you can see Mick’s pasty was far bigger than mine!
As I walked between the bottom and top lock there was a chap trying with all his might to prise his boat off the bottom. Blimey it was on a list, the only thing to do was add more water to the pound, a boat was about to come down so hopefully that would help. With the lock emptying the chap used his gang plank to try to shift his boat. In the end he managed to back it off with large clouds of black smoke coming from his engine. As he moved off you could see that his boat had quite a list to it anyway, he pulled in on the offside before the lock, breasting up to another boat, presumably fully afloat.
From here I walked on ahead to open the next three swing bridges, the weather was lovely, a great day to be back boating again, even if my legs were starting to complain.
The visitor moorings below Seend Locks were empty so we pulled in, hoping someone might come down before the morning to empty the bottom lock. Tilly headed off into the undergrowth and we put a roast chicken in the oven. What a lovely Sunday.
3 locks, 7.15 miles, 4 swing bridges, 2 traditional pasties, 500grams prunes, 1 box oat cakes, 27 litres, 40kg excel, 1 roast chicken with all the works, 1 pooped Pip.