Are We Jinxing Things? 27th July

Somerton Meadows to Nadkey Bridge 172

No tea in bed today, we wanted to up and off so as not to end up in a queue at Somerton Deep Lock, I also hoped to have an afternoon of work. We pushed off before anyone else from the meadows. The cows that normally go that way and then back again were on the other side of the cut today. They moo’d loudly so we knew they were there.


No queue, that was a relief. The For Sale signs at Somerton Deep Lock had big SOLD signs added. I wonder what the new owners will add to the house, Mick said he’d look at adding as much solar as he could, unless there were planning restrictions.

Both top paddles worked today, so our ascent was a speedy one.

Chisnell Lift Bridge, will it end up being hydraulically operated?

Chisnell Lift Bridge was down as we approached, a chap walking his dog said he’d help with it. The bridge was well balanced and easy to move. The end of the chain appeared to have some blue rope that had worn away and strands of it sat on the ground next to a mooring spike. Was this how the bridge was meant to be secured open to boats? With no means to secure it I let it close and we carried onwards.

Hello again

Todays queue was to be found at Aynho Weir Lock. A boat going up to the river section and two waiting to come down. We waited below and helped where we could, then there was the walk to Nells Bridge and help out there too before it was our turn.

The house that stands alongside Haddon’s Lift Bridge is up for sale. Plenty of space, with a two story office, four bedrooms and three bathrooms, handy for the Pig Place too! Yours for a mear £1,350,000. I wonder if C&RT would give you permission for an end of garden mooring?

Kings Sutton Lock

Onwards under lift bridges to Kings Sutton Lock where a boat was just rising slowly. A boat arrived just in time to wait for the lock to be vacated. I chatted to the lady, they were kicking their heels waiting to go into Cropredy Marina for the Fairport Convention Festival in a couple of weeks time. You have to book the marina for five days at £50 a night! Profiteering!

As their boat came out of the lock their engine stopped. Something round the prop. A glance along their boat showed the culprit, their centre line diagonally taught along their cabin side. The lady said they’d not done that for ages, suspect they won’t do it again for a while. Mick pulled Oleanna back so they could pull their boat out of the lock and let us pass.

I wonder when/if work will begin on the cottage

We normally stop just around the corner, but with a distance to cover tomorrow we wanted to be further on, Grants Lock called. We chose to moor up before the new housing estate opposite a popular field for people to walk round. Tilly set off to explore, then it was time to talk to Tim the Banbury puppet man, followed by working out just how much canvas would be needed to be printed for the panto portals for a new quote.


During the afternoon notices came in from C&RT. The normal notices but also several regarding places we’d just come through. There was a tree down between bridges 211 and 212 blocking the canal. Chisnell Lift Bridge 193 was impossible for single handers to use as there is no way of fixing it open, no change from when we passed through. Then on facebook we heard of boats fenders getting caught on a bolt at Somerton Deep Lock top gate, luckily they had all had weak links in their chains so had avoided serious problems. We’d not noticed anything this morning, but then Mick tends to stay well back from the top gates on the Oxford. Sorry if you are following us, we seem to be jinxing things as we pass!

5 locks, 8.1 miles, 9 lift bridges, 1 down, 2 blackberries, 3 problems behind us, £1350000, 7 town square puppets, 3 creatures, 1 Oleanna’s length of canvas required, 1 chicken and red pepper curry, 1 connection checked, 1 link on order.