Trip Reports 1997

19th January 1997

Flashed up engine started very well after a few seconds. All working OK. Chugged to Sankey for lunch left at 12 noon and returned at 4pm. Engine clock now 05300.

16th March 1997

Boat service. Changed engine oil, gearbox oil, fuel filter, oil filter, air filter, general clean and check all OK. Also at this time over a period of 3 to 4 weeks the following have been attended to:-  part replace of stern deck, re-varnish rear wooden stern rail, rub down and re-paint rear stern bulkhead repaint (drag) green gallery, remove settee from living area and replace with 2 leather chairs and foot stools, fitted new (from family room) carpet throughout boat, reseal chimney above roof at joint, fit new pump to shower tray (diapham pump type designed for the job), replace 2 plastic fittings on pipes burst during the winter, re-paint cratch and bow deck. New conduit under cratch, new towel rails in cratch

28th March 1997 (Good Friday)

ppm to Sankey for supper stopped on board. Andrew went to work by car on Saturday from Sankey. Wendy stayed on board and did some maintenance. Andrew returned to Sankey dropped off by Brian. Saturday ppm.

30th March 1997

Left at 11.30am to go to Stratford. Lovely sunny day quite warm for the time of  year 14/15oC. Not much happening, in fact not many boats at all. One event coming out of Luddington Lock, duck lands on boat top and waddles towards me on the stern. Wendy appears with some bread and is hand feeds the duck, a trick the duck had obviously tried before with some success. Arrived Stratford-upon-Avon 7.30ish decided Fish & Chips for supper caught the last ferry (8pm) to the other side of the river and walked the short distance to ‘Barnabies’ Fish & Chips CLOSED! Only in the UK in a major tourist centre where the town was bursting with people wanting to eat would the only Fish & Chip shop close. We then walked to Pizza Hut, waited 30 minutes for Pizza, they were so busy. They must have had 30 staff all doing something all the time, food excellent. Back on board, good TV. Wendy went to bed at 10.30pm and I followed at 11.30pm.

31st March 1997 (Bank Holiday Easter Monday)

Fabulous hot sunny day, spent the day doing various jobs on board and enjoying the sights of people using the river and the parks ‘Saucy Sue’, ‘Marllett’, ‘Sim Jam’ were all in Stratford at some time as well. Brian and Wayne came over ppm. Wayne had a fit and we had to call the ambulance, Brian then took Wayne home to Evesham. Wendy and I had BBQ steaks and turned in 11.00ish. Very cold over night –1oC. We were too hot inside as the fire was on.

1st April 1997

Another hot sunny day. Left Stratford-upon-Avon 9.55am I am writing this as we approach Bidford-on-Avon, bit of wind keeps the temperature down and we need sweaters but its still bright and sunny and hot when stopped. Time now 1.30pm have just seen kingfisher it kept up with the boat flying along and in front for 10 minutes or so. Arrived Evesham 4.50pm and excellent few days break. Engine clock 05319.

April 2nd - April 20th 1997

Various trips to Sankey and The Fish and Anchor at Wyre Piddle. On one sunday Andrew fell asleep and burnt his legs!.

April 27th - Sunday 1997

We left Evesham in sunny weather at 2pm. My son Brian is the only crew for this first leg to Pershore. Wendy has been on a 3 day course at Knutston Hall
near Northampton to learn all about canal art ( the roses and castles type)
and will be meeting us there. We stop to dunny dump, take on fresh water and
buy a new bottle of gas and then off we go. Brian is helmsman for the trip
and I relax in the bow watching the world go by, a few beers and reading the
paper. The river is quiet  and my relaxation is interrupted by the few
locks along the way where I have to help. A levelly trip. We arrive at
Pershore at 6.30pm and Wendy is there to meet us. Brian leaves in the car
that Wendy has driven over in and tells all about her course which was
wonderful. Shows me the stool she has painted and the picture 'A Castle' she
has done. I am impressed. We eat on board, Indian takeaway from the
Shunangain the town. Very good food as always. Watch T.V. and bed at about
11.30pm.

April 28th - Monday 1997

I wake with a backache as usual!. We are trying
a new mattress which is better than before but still not comfortable. We
leave Pershore at 12 noon ish with Pat and Dave who I met on the trip down.
A nice couple who are in a timeshare boat from Stratford upon Avon. Our
destination Tewksbury. The weather is fine and overcast. It rained last
night and there is promise of more. We keep our fingers crossed. The trip
much easier with tow boats to help each other in the locks especially as
the wind is now quite high. We arrive in Tewkesbury after a pleasant chugg
at about . Mooring at the Marina was fun as the wind is now 40mph. I Walk
into town to get some drill bits and bolts for the T.V. ariel which would
not stay in one position due to the heavy wind. On return fit adaption to
ariel pole, all now seems o.k. Evening meal on board with left over curry,
treacle pie and cream, smashing.  

April 29th - Tuesday 1997

Woke early, less of a back problem but still not right even though I had an extra pillow to try and help. The wind was still high so we decided to do a bit of maintenance
this morning and check the engine etc. before going through Tewkesbury lock
and onto the Seven down to Gloucester. We eventually leave at 12.30, the
weather is now fine and bright and the wind has all but gone. Tewkesbury
Lock can be a tricky one in the wind and we get in now with no problem. A
short wait at the next large lock while the operator has his lunch and then
off we go. British weather being what it is the wind now picks up again and
at times is like being at sea with water breaking over the bow. many people
said to me that the Severn is boring and uninteresting but I think its
wonderful. Being on the Avon for most of the time, the Wide Severn has much
to offer. Every time we have been down to Gloucester the river seems
different. Few boats to wave at and little wildlife but somehow there is
always something to look at. Near the bottom of the river, before the weir
and the river narrows to a small channel there is a lovely short stretch
of about 1/2 mile where the trees lower themselves down tithe water and I
always think they are bowing down in welcome. The narrow bit approaching
Gloucester is full of mud and the level is very low. I am glad to see when
we get to the lock that its open ready and we go straight in. This lock is
very deep and the operator hangs down a hook to hang our ropes on. A gentle
rise to the top watched by a few people takes about 10 minutes and then the
automatic gates open and Gloucester Dock awaits. We moor up next to the
lock gates as the usual place is unavailable due to dredging work going on.
 It's now 5.00pm ish and we tidy the boat have a shower and change. Tonight
we are going to Berry's in Southgate Street. We found this fairly small
restaurant last time we were in Gloucester and its fantastic. Its only
about 5 minutes from the dock and well worth a visit. I have crab and prawn
to start and Wendy has roes on toast, this is followed by steak royal for
me and lamb kidney in pastry for Wendy all with fresh veg. Wonderful. 

April 30th - Wednesday 1997

We decided in the morning to visit the Advertising and Packaging Museum in Gloucester dock and if you have got an hour to spare, its well worth the effort. We then walked down Southgate street to a large shopping center where there is a huge craft shop and I mean huge. You name it and it's got it. Wendy buys a special type of paintbrush and a
chinagraph pencil. We have lunch at Burger King and the back to the boat.
We set off at 2pm. The road bridge opens as if by magic and we enter the
Sharpness Canal. The canal is wide due to the large ships that still use
it. The weather is hot and  sunny. There are no locks on this canal just
bridges. 3 of the bridges a narrow boat can get under. All the others are
opened for you as you approach unless something is coming the other way or
some problem exists that restricts passage. It makes you feel quite
important as the road bridges open and a cheery wave is given by the
operator. At each bridge the operator also enquires how far you are going
and radios on ahead. Its comforting to know that an eye is being kept on
you and also helps to speed traffic up and down the canal. Very few boats
are moving but there are many moored on the canal and its interesting to
look at the different shapes and sizes. We decide to press on to the end,
it's such a levelly day and the canal is very high. The view is fabulous
across the countryside. A short stop a Saul Junction to dunny dump and then
we proceed to Sharpness arriving at 6.30pm. We moor up and eat on board
reflecting on our day. 

May 1st - Thursday 1997 (Election Day) 

We wake early and the canal is covered in mist. Visibility about 10 feet and a very heavy dew. Today is forecast to be the hottest day of the year. By 8.00am I know they are correct. We walk the short distance into Sharpness. Now, apart from the large sea lock, which is very interesting, there is little else in Sharpness. One post office/shop, one working mans club and a few houses and that's it. It is a shame that no large ships are going through the lock at the time we are there so we decide to to leave and chugg the short distance to Shepherds Patch. We leave at 12.30pm and wonder if we will make the 2 bridges at Purton by lunchtime when they close for 1/2 hour. We pass the funny little pub in Purton that's like a house. When you have purchased your drinks in the hallway you sit in the front room to drink them. We also pass some disabled people sitting in the sunshine having their lunch at the moorings in Purton. These people are part of a party taken there by The Willow Trust, a charity set up to give disabled people canal trips. They wave to us as we chugg by, and we wave back. We are in time and the 2 bridges open for us. We are advised to pass with caution as divers are in the canal doing repair work.
by 2.pm we were moored up and enjoying the hot sunny day. I do some odd
jobs around the boat and Wendy relaxes on the bank. 8.00pm and sun is going
down to a glorious sunset. We walk to the local pub, the Tudor Arms for
dinner. The food was excellent and very quick service. We return to the
boat at about 10.30pm and Wendy goes to bed. I decide to stay up and  watch
the election on T.V. We now all know that Labour won with a majority of 179.
Time will tell if the country made the correct choice. It was all over by
4.00am so I went to bed.

May 2nd - Friday 1997

Another hot sunny day. We leave at 10.00am our destination Upton on Severn. Chugging like this is fantastic. Not much traffic about. We stop at Saul junction again to dump the dunny and we have to wait about 1/2 half an hour or so because once again divers are in the canal working on the gates. Off again and Wendy takes the helm and I relax in the bow for the trip to Gloucester. We pass a dredger boat full of silt from Gloucester Dock going the other way to dump its load in the Severn at Sharpness. At Gloucester we have a short wait for the lock and then we are back on the Severn. The lockmaster asks
where we are going and we inform him Upton. We know he will radio ahead to
advise of a our arrival in a few hours time. The flow is now very fast and
we make slow progress. Once out of the narrow channel onto the wide Severn
we seem to speed up. We pas one boat and the bowing trees. We seem to be at
one with nature. We chugg on everything is perfect. At 5.00pm we are only
as far as Haw Bridge and we know we will not make Upton at a sensible time
that day. We stop on the public moorings just under the pub. We shower,
change, eat in the pub, which was very average and then by 9.00pm ready for my bed ( well I was up till 4.00am remember).

May 3rd - Saturday 1997

Not so nice today. Overcast but still very warm. We set off at 11.00am and
head for Upton. As we got near  it started to rain which spoilt an
otherwise enjoyable trip. we had been told that mooring would be difficult
because of the Folk Festival on in Upton that weekend. we moored in the
Marina. Cheeky I know but the river was full. We walked into Upton town and
could nor move for Morris dancers. How do they find so many people with the
name Morris?. The atmosphere was fantastic, lots of music and dancing on every corner and outside every pub. Shame about the rain but it didn't seem to matter to the "morrisors", must be the cider. we get some provisions and head back for the boat. We see a chum in the marina who has just purchased a new boat. We wish him well and set off back down the Severn  to Tewkesbury. It's now cold and wet, what a change since yesterday. The lock is opened as we arrive and we go straight in. If you have to wait at this lock, the wind can take you and make getting into the lock difficult. We have booked the riverside mooring in Tewkesbury and we arrive at 5.30pm. Fuel is the next order of the day. The boat takes 23.5 gallons at 1.32UKP.  I decide to check the weed hatch, God knows why, I just thought I would. I take off the top cover lift off the internal cover and prop it up next to the hatch. Sticking my arm down to the propeller I knock the cover which goes splash into the water. What a pratt. Prodding the water produces nothing. The top cover was still o.k. so I screwed it down tight and flashed up the engine. Slowly I increased the revs, still tied up tight to the jetty, and water started to seep through the hatch cover. I stopped and switched off. Nothing more could be done. We ate that night in the clubhouse. An excellent meal at very reasonable prices and a very good real ale, or 2.

May 4th - Sunday 1997

Today it's wet and cold and very windy, just what we need for a slow
journey to Pershore. It was horrible. It was also necessary to have the
engine cover off, so I could keep an eye on the weed hatch cover and mop up
the water that was coming in, it was noisy as well. As we arrived at
Strencham Lock we are followed in by a cruiser that hit the tiller and scratched all the paint. I am not a happy man. At Nafford Lock the wind and rain are getting worse and we have a hell of a job getting in with no power to speak of. Eventually we make it and on we go. We arrive at Pershore at about 5.00pm like drowned rats. What a day!. A hot shower warmed us up and the fire was soon roaring away to warm up the boat, somehow boating isn't that bad after all. Chinese take away and an early night seemed like a good idea, so that's what
we did.

May 5th - Monday 1997 (Bank Holiday

The morning was brighter and dry. We slowly traveled the familiar river
back to Evesham. We stopped at Sankey Marine for 'just the one' which
turned into just the several. Lots of fellow boaters wanted to know of our
travels and we had to here about the chap in the clubhouse the previous
Saturday who had won 63,000UKP on the Lottery and had been to overcome to
phone up, so the owner had to do it for him. We were told its not changed
him at all, still wants to buy secondhand fenders. We arrive back at our
mooring at 5.00pm
Wet inside and out but what the hell we had a smashing trip.

6th May 1997

Today the boat goes to ‘Evesham Marina’ to have some external work done. We leave our mooring at 10.00am and arrive at 11am (the appointed hour) ‘One Moore’ is gently lifted from the water and placed on four metal blocks, we decide after looking at her with Paul Evesham Marina Manager, to have 3 coats of blacking (bitumen) on the hull sides and 1 coat on the very bottom, 4 (anodes) are required one for each ‘corner’ stern gland needs repacking and weed hatch internal cover needs replacing. While the boat is out of the water we decide to paint the gunnels and refit the bedroom into 2 singles, this is all done the last 2 bits by us and finally the boat is ready to go back into the water on Wednesday 21st.

 22nd May 1997

After work I an dropped off at Evesham Marina by H. (H is a girl who works for me). We chugg to Offenham and dine at the Fish & Anchor. Arrive at 9pm very good value meal for 2 for £10. Back to the boat at 11.15, first night in the new single beds.

 23rd May 1997

The beds are much better and we both have had a good night’s sleep. We leave at 10am in overcast weather. Because of the new bed arrangement I have to reroute all the electric cables so I spend the day doing that, I break to help with the locks, at one lock the engine stops the tick over needs adjustment and then we are off again. At Luddington lock the pump suddenly kicks in and will not stop, I check the boat pipes for leaks but could not find anything. We filled up with water and eventually it stopped, we came to the conclusion that it must have been an air lock. We arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon at 6pm we ate on board and watched TV.

24th May 1997

I got up early and returned to Evesham for work, a car had been left at Stratford marina for the journey. Wendy spends the day painting and Brian brings me back after work. We eat at the Chinese off the top of Sheep Street, everywhere else is fully booked.

 25th May 1997

Spent the day finishing off the electrics and repositioning the radio. General pottering. BBQ in the evening and TV. It was a very hot and sunny day.

25th May 1997 (Bank Holiday)

Returned to Evesham, nice gentle chug, shared the driving. The river is quite busy, just before Luddington we pull a Stratford Court Hire NB off the river bottom, We saw this boat in Stratford some hours before, so they must have run aground and been stuck for some time. The weather is hot and sunny. Just before Evesham lock we see a boat from B.B.C.C, this is a sign that was on our boat when we bought her and we had often wondered what if stood for, it means Black Boys Cruising Club and it is based at Knowle in Warwickshire. The people on this boat know Mr. Olds (the previous owner) and we stop and have a short chat asking them to pass our regards to Mr. Olds.   We arrive back at the mooring at 7.30pm.

30th May 1997

Sankey for dinner. Stay on board.

31st May 1997

Andrew to work, Wendy boat painting and canal painting, boat at Sankey all day – Dinner evening good night played Bingo.

1st June 1997

Paint boat roof very hot today, home after lunch 4pm ish.

4th June 1997

Leave mooring at 11.15 and chug to Wyre Piddle for lunch. We arrive just in time at 1.50pm nice hot sunny day. Arrive back home 6.30pm

7th June 1997

Sankey for night.

8th June 1997

Home early gardening and decorating today

428 hours chugged since purchased

280 hours chugged in season ‘96

95 hours chugged since engine service ‘97

Engine clock now 05395

Between June 8th and July 10th the boat was used only a few times due to business and family commitments, which kept us away form the river. We went to Sankey a few times and a midweek run to Pershore/Wyre Piddle.

10th July 1997

Took boat the short distance to Workman Gardens in Evesham in readiness for the boat rally. Andrew went to work from the boat on Friday 11th and had the day off on Saturday the 12th. We had noticed the engine getting hotter and hotter the last few runs out but could not detect any obvious problem.

12th July 1997

Festival weekend. As usual the whole weekend was splendid success, all the months of planning that Wendy and the rest of the organising committee had put in worked out a treat. The highlight as always was the evening illuminated parade, which started at 10pm. The highlight of the parade was the 20 or more boats decorated with lights. This year was a boat made to look like a sea plane with some 5,500 lights, the boat also had music from large speakers playing tunes like the Dambusters – fantastic. As usual we played host to friends and customers, eventually getting to bed at 2am. This year for the first time buckets were rattled at the crowd estimated at 5000 and £200 was raised for funds.

13th July 1997

Started with breakfast cooked as usual by committee members for the boaters, 120 breakfasts cooked for crew from the 101 boats attending. The final judging of Best Boat, Best Handled Boat, Best Dressed Boat etc happened and as did the fender wangling and egg throwing all good fun finished 4pm. We arrived at Sankey for lunch and then home exhausted but everybody agreed it was a great weekend.

16th July 1997

The engine now seems OK although running at 80c or so. We decided to give the boat a run to Pershore to see what happens on a long run. It was a hot day and the river was quite busy. Pershore and back took all day and all was well. A good chug.

19th July 1997

Off to Sankey ppm. We go the long way round via Evesham Workman Bridge and by the time get here the temperature is nudging 100c. We slow down to tick-over and the temperature is now about 95o and steady. We continue to Sankey a journey of 30 minutes today took 11/2 hours. Tonight is busy and many people have ideas as to the problem. All must be investigated tomorrow.

20th July 1997

Chug home to check

1.The water levels

2.The inlet from the river

3.The filter

4.All pipes

5.The thermostat

6.Oil levels

7.Actual temperature of water, perhaps faulty gauge

8.Perhaps faulty sender unit

All checked out OK including the fact that the water was indeed almost 98oc on the thermometer. It had to be the water pump or the impeller, I carefully removed the impeller cover to find the problem. An impeller in bits. I thought I had a spare in my large grey box, so lifted it out to check, upon opening the box it was ¼ full of water and all my spares were soaking and going rusty, hundreds of pounds worth of electrical spares like the alternator and coil, gaskets, filters all ruined, and no impeller. A trip to Sankey, they didn’t have one but George Judge near Kidderminster did. At 4pm the new impeller was fitted and now all is fine “What a day”.

24th July 1997

ppm went to Bridge Inn at Offenham for dinner of steak and all t he trimmings for us both, and stayed overnight

25th July 1997

Andrew off. Went up river to The Mill at Harvington for lunch. Sat outside and had sandwiches and a few beers. Great weather hot and sunny, home at 7pmish.

26th July 1997

Sankey for dinner and overnight stay. Very good evening very busy.

27th July 1997

went to Cracombe Turn for BBQ lunch. Weather very hot and sunny very pleasant chug all systems go. 10 gallons of fuel today at Sankey.

1st August 1997

I’m writing this on the way to Stratford, time now 4.40pm and just passing Welford, overcast and humid with the odd shower but very pleasant. We have met a couple on the way up who have told us how to tie up in the locks from the centre rope and keeping the engine in forward gear when the lock is filling. Seems to work well. We shall continue to practice. When we got to the lock before Stratford-upon-Avon we met Mike and Ann in Cruiser ‘Isabella, they had seen us at Luddington lock and waited for us. The boat they have is a ‘Dolphin’ and it was the boat that Wendy noticed and went to introduce herself (as she does). We moored up next to them in Stratford at about 6.45pm a good run. The evening was spent with the TV for me, there was a program I wanted to watch, Wendy went next door to ‘Isabella’ for just the one, I joined them later. Also there were Brian and Margaret from their boat ‘Sunday Girl’ a wide beam cruiser. A nice night was had by all.

2nd August 1997

Andrew returned to Evesham early leaving the boat at 7.15am. home shower etc – to work for 8.30am. A very good day £2,200 in Evesham £6,900 for Company. Wendy stayed on board, Brian ran me to Stratford-upon-Avon after work via Somerfield to replenish the wine stocks on board, Wendy had a good day with Mike and Ann and some friends of theirs. BBQ in evening and a few wets with the others. Bed 2am.

3rd August 1997

Changes the oil, spent the day relaxing but pm played Trivial Pursuit. ppm meal on board ‘One Moore’ with Mike and Ann. An excellent day had by all. Bed 11pm.

4th August 1997

Dentist for Andrew 8.50am and left Stratford-upon-Avon 11am with Mike and Ann and Brian and Margaret. Weather overcast and windy. All the locks were against us except 2 on the way back. It rained a bit but mostly dry. We all stopped at Bidford for sandwiches and cake and then on again. We left the other 2 boats at the Bridge Inn at 7pm and we arrived at Evesham lock just in time to get through at 7.30pm, home exhausted fantastic trip.

7th August 1997

ppm quick trip to fill up with water dump the dummy and then home. M&B take the boat tomorrow for hols.

  Mary and Brian, take Nb One Moore on the fist leg of this years trip.
Written By Mary Perkins .


Friday 8th August 1997

Evesham - Chatting to Wendy and she remembered that Evesham Lock closed for lunch between 1-2pm, so set off, managed to get through lock. Went through
with young couple who were moving their boat to Welford. Huge cruiser. Very
hot. We had forgotten how pretty the river was, also lots of new buildings
since our last trip. Several people have waved at the boat and gasped when
they saw it wasn't Wendy and Andrew on board, have they sold the boat,
surely not. Stopped for lunch at Harvington. Now very, very hot. Saw a
heron, he had just caught an eel and was strutting up and down, extremely
proud of himself. We went on to Luddington which was packed so decided to
continue on to Stratford Upon Avon. The recreation ground was also packed
with boats moored , some breasted up, all the way along. We breasted up
near the lock. Saw the Countess of Evesham restaurant boat, very impressive, had '1' glass of wine!!. Bed 10.45.

Saturday 9th 1997

Awoke at 8.45am. Moved into Stratford Canal basin saw 2 boats from Lion
Hearts Cruising Club at Gifford Park Milton Keynes. Tried my hand at
videoing, I feel their could be a bit of deck coverage. Stratford packed,
it was the weekend of the Bulldog Bash, bikes everywhere. Did a bit of
shopping then chugged. Very hot again today. A German couple helped us with some of the locks so we gave then a ride to the last one. They enjoyed it. We followed a hire boat called Patricia, so all the locks were against us. The crew were Julia and Bob who were celebrating their 28th Wedding Anniversary, Julie says this might be their last after today!. "My nail varnish has melted on my ******** nails". Now 7.00pm we are moored up just before Wooten Wawen and are going to have a B.B.Q. Have decided to get up early tomorrow as today was a bit of a struggle in the heat. Stratford canal extremely pretty, very narrow bridges. Peaceful evening.

Sunday 10th 1997

Up at 5.00am. Yes really, but well worth it, so very pleasant, the canal
looks lovely. most of the locks are again against us but its not a problem
being so much cooler. We didn't see another boat until 9.30am, when we
stopped for breakfast. At lock 50, Bucket Lock, their is a beautiful house
and tiny aqueduct. Lowsonford Barrel cottage spoke to old gentleman who was born in the cottage, he was quite remarkable. On to Kingswood, vast difference here since we last came now has new cutting to avoid going through all the locks, much better. decided to carry on to the pub and eventually stopped at the Black Boy Cruising Club moorings at 3pm. Shower and sat on the back of the boat reading. Bliss. A man askes if the boat used to be called TOGOBO and was once moored at this club, we explained that  it was and he scuttled off happy as Larry never to be seen again. Wendy and Andrew arrive for just the one, early evening. The Black Boy pub was packed. I hour wait for food so have drink. Great people watching here!. We go into Knowle for dinner at the Greswold Arms Hotel. Fantastic. Wendy and Andrew drive home after dropping us back at the boat.

Monday 11th 1997

Woke at 8.00am. Much better nights sleep. Can't decide whether its the fact
that Brian and I switched beds or last nights gins and tonic. Knowle Locks
were restricted and we waited 45 minutes but eventually went through on our
own. Every one against us and they were really hard to do. We stopped at
the top and walked into Knowle, very nice, very expensive, lots of fabulous
properties. Beautiful church. walked back and chugged off. This was not a pleasant trip, canal very dirty, smelly. Few youths about, used the camera pointing at them to stop them throwing stones. I told them it was not a good idea. Glue sniffers, drunks, it was terrible. we decide to get through Camphill Locks. All the doors are shut and locked. Disgusting locks. At Spaghetti youths are in the scaffolding, up to no good. Not a pleasant experience, glad to be through this stretch without any trouble. Arrive at Fazely canal, looks much better. Lots of planes, Mary was wishing she was on one, after today. Minworth lock House beautiful, much better, exhausted. nice safe mooring, behind the Boat Pub.

Tuesday 12th 1997

Well after yesterday, anything must be better. Slept well. Nice safe moorings. Walked into Minworth, to Asda, had breakfast. What kind of people go on
holiday to Asda?. Bought 2 glasses as we had broken 2. Back to boat, lovely
day, set off. The canal is beginning to look lovely again. Phoned Wendy and
Andrew last night and advised them if possible not to go back through
Birmingham. Stopped at Marston Manor Farm Hotel for ice cold drink. Met up
again with Julie and Bob on Patricia and invited them on board for a
pancake but they declined and were chugging off. We did the same. Arrived
at Fazely for dinner but not a lot there so chugged on. Got speaking
to a nice bloke with 2 children at Glascote Bottom Lock. There was a man in
the cottage who was a childrens entertainer and he made the children a sword
and a dog out of balloons. he made a teddy bear for me!. He recommended a
good pub a bit further up, 2 more locks, Oh joy. Brian is not happy about
the speed of One Moore and finds lots of clag round the prop. Saw snake in
the water, think its an Adder. Went on to The Gate Pub. Lovely meal, Mary
Salmon, Brian steak. Very friendly. Walk round village, quite nice houses.
Bed early.

Wednesday 13th 1997

Bit overcast. Boat moored up behind us late last night, Pint Pot, from
Linford. Isla works as a science technician at Stantonbury Campus (same
place as me) small world. Brian walked in and got a paper and some rolls.
Its got very dark, raining off and on. Passed some nice moorings and houses.
Went onto Atherstone Flight and the heavens opened. 11 locks and a very
nice flight. Brian hurt his knee at lock 6. Arrived at Atherstone at 3pm.
Mary went into town, Brian cleaned the boat. Atherstone has been in the
past a very lively town. some lovely buildings and beautiful church, very
old, mentioned in the Doomsday Book, people very friendly. A lady in a shop
I got talking to, said that there was still one factory making hats and they
will make any style you want out of any material. We decided to move off
the moorings at Athertstone as there were a lot of youths about and in fact
all the boats moved on. We moored up for the night at Hartshill with a
couple in a hire boat, who we have seen off and on before. The rain has now
stopped and its a nice evening. We walk into Hartshill to find a pub and
telephone, the road  was very busy, no footpath. The pub is pretty grotty, all 2.99ukp for everything, steak, chicken, mixed grill. Walked back to the boat and had pasta and salad on board. The chap from the hire boat came over, seems he is a Marine Engineer who works in Bristol docks. Brian and he talk about boats. Beautiful evening, moon clear and stars great.

Thursday 14th 1997

Mary not very well, no not the booze, walked into Nuneaton to find chemist.
Taken some tablets now feeling better. Walk to park, Nuneaton was joint
first in the Britain in Bloom competition and the flowers were beautiful.
The museum was very interesting, local collections of all sorts of things,
tea towels, badges, radios, Buddah's , yes even Buddah's. this is also the
home of George Elliot, the Femail novelist, Mary Ann Evans, who could only
get published in Victorian times because she changed her name to that of a
man. (Mary likes her). There were many reminders of how important the canal
had been in transporting goods around the country. Chugged off again and
just before entering the Ashby Canal saw a mink. the Ashby is quite
different, very pleasant but very shallow. We moor up at the Kiln Pub.
nice moorings but very close to the main A5 road. Somebody asked if we were
going to the GIG (Andrew found out later this was Gill and Peter Harper).
Ate in the pub that evening, Brian steak, Mary chicken, Brian finished
Mary's meal. Back to boat and read a book while Brian watched T.V., good
picture.

Friday 15th 1997

Once again a beautiful morning. No locks on this stretch of canal. Very
rural, lots of Moorhens but still have seen very few Coots. Stopped at
Ashby Boats to dunny dump, no charge, bought some postcards. Chugged on and moored up after bridge  and walked into Stoke Golding, very nice, had cold
drink in the pub. Went onto Market Bosworth, very pretty, steady traffic of
boats going up and down, everyone very jolly. Some very nice properties,
one with a 9 hole golf course in the garden. Moored up in shade at 4.30pm.
Mary did recki into town. Good pubs and 2 restauants. Market Bosworth was
joint 1st with Nuneaton in the Britain in Bloom competition and the flowers
are worth seeing. There is also a little steam railway. Walked back into town at 7.30 and ate at softleys, Brain had Monkfish and Mary Lamb, really splendid bottle of house wine, ice cream. This was a lovelly evening. Nice proprietors, chatty. Walked back to boat, still very hot, night cap and bed 11.00pm.

Saturday 16th 1997

Late, leisurely start. We walk into town, take some pictures of the
flowers, got few provisions. Went into art gallery and bought a picture of
a dog that looked like our Lizzie. Lady who ran the gallery was married in
Dunfirmline (Mary's home town) and her husband was in the Royal Navy (same as Brian) told you its a small world. Had coffee and then walked back to
the boat. Chugged off at noon. Very hot, still very nice scenery. Steady
flow of boats. 2.30pm stopped at Shakerstone and visited the super little
steam railway complete with Fat Controler and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Chugged to Snasestone and the end of the line. Boat moored up behind us is
beautiful 'Seemansub', a German chap on his own cruising the canals and
rivers. Brian had long chat. Went to pub Brian steak and Mary fish. Not bad
but very busy. Bed early.

Sunday 17th 1997

Have moved the boat this morning, down one bridge to a small picnic area
with enough room for one boat and right next to a car park. The boat has
been washed and brushed up and looks lovely. Waiting for Wendy and Andrew
to arrive with our car for the handover. Still very hot.
Our Holiday is over. We must now return reluctantly to Milton Keynes in our
car.
Engine clock 05486
Mary.

Sunday 17th August 1997

Wendy and I arrive at 10.30am to take 'One Moore' back from Mary and Brian, who have bought it to near the top of the Ashby Canal. Bridge 58 to be
precise. By 11.00am we have changed all our Clothes, food, booze etc. have
said  goodbye and are on our way. The boat seems heavy to handle, I had
forgotten how different steering is on the canals compared to the rivers.
The Ashby is very narrow and shallow and very rural. The weather is very
calm and hot and we enjoy the countryside. The fridge is still not working
properly, must fix. After an hour or so we arrive at Shakerstone. We are
going to stop here to visit the railway. Thomas the Tank Engine is here
with all his chums, even the Fat Controller can be seen walking the
platforms. There is a nice little museum, a very good brief stop for an
hour or so. We continue on stopping at Bridge 42 to check the weed hatch. I
was convinced that we had something round the prop, but no, all was well. The
Ashby has no locks on its entire 22 miles so the pace is constant. There is
not much to see apart from the wide countryside and not much colour, apart
from green. For our first day it is perfect. At 6.00pm we arrive at our
overnight stop, Limekiln Bridge and pub.  As we pass the pub looks good and
we are hungry, but, this was Sunday and we had our doubts that  food would
be served that evening. After all, this is the only pub on the Canal as far
as we could see and the moorings were pretty full, in fact we got the last
one at the end of the towpath. Several other boat crews were going to the
pub to eat, yes, we must be o.k.. I walked to the pub to check. 'Sorry
mate, not on a Sunday night, no call for it'!!.  We had next mornings
breakfast for dinner and chatted with the next door boat. He tells us the
story of when his boat was set on fire, not nice. We watch a bit of T.V.,
first time I have seen Channel 5. and an electric storm in the sky, most
impressive. Bed 10.30pm.

Monday 18th August 1997

An excellent nights sleep and we leave at 8.45am. Its already hot and
sunny. All systems go except the fridge. We continue on through some really
nice canal, one particular cutting or glade with properties on one side is
lovely. At 11.00am we leave the Ashby, which we thought overall was
unimpressive, turn right and head north up the Coventry. The contrast is
immediate. Much wider and very built up. We pass many houses and factories,
some of the gardens are lovely. As we start to pass out through Bedworth
the canal becomes rust colour, mainly due to the large number of quarries in
this area. Very hot now. We stop at the Anchor Pub for just the one and a
steak bap. Very nice indeed. We continue through some nice countryside to
Atherstone. We stop at Valley Cruisers to try and fix the fridge. The chap
here has a good look at it and turns it upside down. He gives it a good
wack on the back and cleans the pilot light. I am amazed with all the crap
that comes out of it. It starts first time after this. We are advised that
we are asking a lot for this type of fridge to work well in the 90 degree
heat but it should be better now than it was before. I pay him the 5ukp he
asks for, best 5 quid I have spent for a long time. We press on and decide
to go about half way down the Atherstone flight to the Kings Head pub and
moore for the night. On the way down we met Coronation with Jeff on board
coming up and John watson and Benny doing the locks they were on there way
from the GIG at Hopwas. We arrive at the pub at 4.00pm. Wendy sat and read
the papers and I messed about with this and that. I find I do that on
holiday, lots of nothing in particular. We shower and watch Coronation
Street on T.V.. Then the few steps to the pub. Wendy had the Duck and a
T.bone steak for me. My steak was not quite as the barman had promised ' the best steak you've ever tasted', but it was acceptable. Bed at 10.30pm.

Tuesday 19th August 1997

The alarm goes off at 5.30am, and we leave at 6.30am. Its going to be hot
today and we have decided to make an early start. The next six locks in
this part of the flight are delightful. The early morning calm and almost
complete quiet, apart from the odd cow mooing, make the early start very
worthwhile. No other boats have moved yet and we have the canal to
ourselves. By 8.30 we were leaving the last of these locks and feeling
pretty good. the views across the countryside were quite lovely. We pass
under the M42 and our NET flag gets caught under the old bridge 56. The sun
is now getting up and its hot. We just sit and enjoy. Going through
Amington is delightful. Very well kept houses on one side of the canal an
on the other a huge new never ending estate is being built. This looks like
a super little place.  At Kettlebrook (Glascote Locks ) we run into Joe
Jones - Will Crooks - and Nb Thorn without Guy who had  fallen in the canal and was not well enough to take his boat back and Joe and a chum were doing it
for him. They also were returning from the GIG. Guy's boat had some problem
with the batteries not charging and Joe asked if we had any petroleum jelly
to coat the connections with. We were happy to help. After a brief chat, it
was our turn for the lock so we carried on. At 11.30am we are approaching
Fazeley Junction. We take on water from the point and dump the dunny. We
meet Brian at the Three Tuns pub. This is a very scruffy and dirty pub but
the service was good and the beer o.k. The canal from here to Hopwas was
much as before all very pleasant. Outside The Tame Otter we spied NB Corixa
but no sign of Sid. Around the corner we came across Blue Heron and moor up
next to her with the help of Stan. Judy has gone to London for the day and
Stan tells us all about the GIG and the wonderful weekend they all
enjoyed. Wendy and I were very sorry to have missed it, so near and yet so
far. Next year!!. It rains pm but not for long. We shower and as we head for
the pub to eat, Judy returns and we chat to her first. We dine at The Tame
Otter, chicken BBQ thing for me and steak and ale pie for Wendy, all very
good. We get chatting to John and Lennie from Nb Steady and discover that
their Son lives in Evesham and that they have just gone onto the NET. I
tell them about the group and give them the details. If you're lurking,
John and Lennie, hello. The short walk back to the boats without Johns
torch would have been tricky but we get there eventually and fall into bed
at 10.00pm. Its been a long day, but a most enjoyable one.

Wednesday 20th August 1997

Up at 6.30 ( bit of a lay in today ) leave at 7.30 after saying goodbye to
Stan and Judy. The canal is almost closed in here as you gently wind
through the forest and the views are lovely. Its raining now. We stop at
Streethay, where a huge new marina is being built, and take on board some
diesel 90p per gallon. We also get a few bits and bobs from the very well
stocked chandlery. We are interested to see that the towpath is shut at
this point for about 1/2 mile while work is going on dredging the canal and
dropping the silt onto the towpath. God Knows what happens if you have
walked miles to this point, expecting to get to some point further down the
path. Go back I suppose. Tuff. A new fuse fixes the boat radio. We chugg on
past some smashing properties and some great canal until we reach Fradley
Junction, and the Trent and Mersey Canal. We go through the small lift bridge at the end and someone shouts at us to close the bridge as we go through, this
we do. On the T &M we go up two locks then a third round the corner and we
are into a long straight part of canal with woods to the left and open country to the left. The canal gets narrower as we approach Hansacre and Armitage, home of Armitage Shanks pottery. The canal runs along the side of the factory and we look for a mooring but no luck until we reach the Plum Pudding pub. Seems they don't want to attract boaters ( the place not the pub ). We stop for a short while. Guinness for me and a Walk into town for Wendy to get provisions. While I am sitting on a bench near the boat and in the pub grounds, a couple of lads arrive and sit very near the boat eyeing it up. I move and sit on the back of the boat and stare at them. After a few minutes they leave. Wendy returns and we press on. Just up from the pub is a narrow bit of canal, wide enough for one boat at a time through a cutting and under a bridge. We continue past Spode House, which years ago must have been fantastic, now sadly in ruin. Its now 3.30pm  and we approach the Yew Tree Pub. Its time to stop. One of our sun lounger type chairs are broken so I decide to fix it and check the engine etc. Wendy reads while I mess about. Its now hot and sunny. At one point a Nb (sorry cant remember the name ) calls out having seen the Net flag. He says he is only a lurker and goes on his merry way. We eat that night at the Yew Tree Pub and have an excellent meal. Very good food and service. Surf and turf for me and Stuffed Plaice for Wendy. Bed early 9.45pm.

Thursday 21st August 1997

Left our mooring at 8.15am and chugged the short distance to Rugeley,
through some very nice canal. We stop at Bridge 66 and walk the 200 yards
or so to Safeway supermarket for breakfast and do some shopping. We return
to the boat and are away again at 10.30am. The canal here is very nice,
sometimes wide, sometimes narrow with woods and glades and then vast
countryside to look at. Wildlife seems to be all over the place.
Birds, sheep, horses, cows, rabbits, etc. The weather unfortunately lets it
down. Its now overcast but still warm. We continue on through more of the
same to Colwich with its large canalside properties with gardens from Homes
and Gardens, as we approach our first lock of the day it starts to rain. We
moor up at Shugborough Hall, the ancestrial home of Lord Lichfield. The
Hall is right next to the canal and we spend a very enjoyable 3 hours or so
walking around the house museum and gardens. When we return to the boat at
3.30pm its raining hard. We need to get water and to dump the dunny so we
continue on to the junction with the Staffs and Worcs and do just that. Onto the Staffs and Worcs and we are soaking but warm. We moor up for the night at Tixall Wide in the middle of knowhere but with lots of other boats. Time is now 5.15pm. we both shower and enjoy steak for dinner on board and watch T.V.

Friday 22nd August 1997

We wake to bright sunshine and a hot blue sky. After wiping down the boat
and drying out. We are off at 9.00am. Its a lovely day but things will get
worse. A lot worse. By the time we reached Milford, not very far, I noticed
that the ignition light  was staying on all the time. This has happened
before and a wiggle of the wires attached to the alternator usually solved
the problem and the light went out. Not this time!. I had all the various
wires off and cleaned everything I could find to clean but no good. We
continued on through some smashing countryside but my mind was on other
things, what could be causing the problem. I knew that the batteries were
no longer charging and we were still a long way from home, I had to get it
sorted and decided to stop at the next available boatyard. At 1.00pm after
a super morning of great canal, we arrive at Teddesley Boat Company and
small marina. Within seconds a young man appears and asks for our
requirements. "I think I have a problem with my alternator" say I. "lets
have a look then" says the young man and does. He then seems to think that
the problem may be more involved than he first thought. "Not sure about
this" he says "but I know a man who will be able to help". Enter T. Curry, a
retired gentleman who has forgotten more about boat electrics than most
people Know. He pokes about and soon diagnoses the problem of the
alternator brushes. "The problem is this unit has been long
discontinued"says Tom "we do not have any brushes here" My heart sank. He
then came out with few words that made it lift again "I think I have a set
at home in my bedroom"! Off he went and returned again about 20 minutes
later beaming all over his face. Brushes fitted and the light went out
Yippee. The experience cost 40UKP and worth every penny. Tom Curry was a
star. Service way above the call of duty and you don't often get people
putting themselves out in such a way. Now, while all this was going on a
femail voice said "are you Andy Dyke?". It turned out to be Jill Harper.
She had seen the flag and was with her husband Peter returning from the GIG. They explained about the fuel problem they had which was now O.K.. We spent the next 2 hours or so chatting about this and that and enjoying a beer or 2.  It was a lovely afternoon, hot and sunny but at 4.30pm we, and they, had to say goodbye and we left to continue our holidays in different directions. What a nice couple. We go onto the next lock at Longford, everything is fine and I am feeling good. Coming out of the lock we keep hard left to avoid a hire Nb coming the other way and run aground, hard. In trying to pole the boat off,
I nearly fall in and rip my shorts. We ask the Nb, who wonder what's going
on not to fill the lock after the boat before them has gone to leave as
much water as possible for us to refloat. They reluctantly agree. We
eventually get off. Its now 6.00pm and we decide to make for the Cross Keys
pub in Penkridge. The pub is by a narrow bridge and as we pass through a
hire Nb comes at us all over the place and wacks our stern. They apologise
and continue. The pub itself has some 'jack the lad', tattooed, shaved
haired types ( and that's only the women) in the garden and we decide that
its not for us and we proceed. We are now getting tired and the next pub is
miles away. At lock 33 as we are going up the engine cooling water suddenly
stops coming out of the boat. What Now. I stop the engine and we pull 'One
Moore' out of the lock. On checking, the filter is clogged with all sorts
of rubbish. Cleaning it solves the problem but I have had enough, I don't
care where we are, we are stopping for the night. Its now 8.00pm.Wendy
walks the 1/2 mile or so to Gailey Wharf to see if anything is going on, it
isn't. I flash up the water heater and guess what, yes you got it, the gas
has run out. I change the bottle for a fresh one and eventually have a very
nice slow shower. The T.V. picture is very good so at least we can have a
relaxing evening, what's left of it. We have spaghetti and cheese on toast
and fruit salad. bed 10.30pm exhausted. I don't want another day like that.

Saturday 23rd August 1997

Its rained overnight and we wake with overcast rain filled sky's. We leave
at 9.15am and chugg the short distance to Gailey Wharf, where we water and dump the dunny. I go to the excellent canal shop where they sell all sorts of canal things including videos and brasses. I buy a couple of things and we also pick up some provisions. It starts to rain and continues all morning which is a bit of a shame as its really quite lovely along here. The marina at Hatherton Junction looks pretty good with good overnight moorings. There is however a horrible smell, quite off putting. The canal weaves through countryside and woodland and we arrive at Autherley Junction, having passed through
Forsters Bridge, a real narrow cutting just wide enough for 2 boats at
special passing places. Its a shame its chucking it down, because is great
through here. Its now 1.15pm. We continue on through much of the same and
pass some nice houses. The battery problem of yesterday has not totally
gone away as the light is now flickering at low revs but I know the
batteries are charging and that's O.K. for me. The weather is improving and
we reach Bratch Locks at 5.00pm. This interesting and attractive flight is
not a staircase although it looks at first glance like one. We are straight
in and directed what to do by the BWB man. We have done this flight before
so know the ropes, but its still worth following instructions. Many
onlookers around the lock chat as we are going down and are interested in
our journey. They seem quite envious. Just passed Bratch is our mooring for
the night, a pub called The Round Oak. Bridge 45, Wombourn. Its a bit
'Harvester' but the moorings are good. Its now hot and sunny, you can't
win, I put up the plaques I bought this morning and try to get a watchable
T.V. picture without much success. We dine at 8.30pm  the usual fast food pub stuff, but its quite tasty and filling. This pub is very popular, its full of people, mind you, it is Saturday night. We retire to the boat and sleep soundly.

Sunday 24th August 1997

Not a good night. It rained very hard and woke us up. Its still raining at
9.00 am, 10.00am, 11.00am. Wendy walks the mile or so into town for the
papers and milk. At 12.30pm the rain starts to ease a little and we leave
the mooring in dry, cool, overcast weather at 1.00pm. We have been on this
part of the canal before, last year, so we know what's coming. Going down
through Swindon and Greenforge is still very nice and the canal is just as
we remember. I suppose that comment could be made about most canals, most
of the time. At Greenforge Lock we dump the dunny, take on water, Wendy
looses the water tank screw top cover, "I put it in my jacket pocket, I know
I did", I find it in the boat!. Funny thing memory, or is it age?. At this
point we find ourselves in a queue for the lock. About 10 boats in all and
we have to wait as boats are also coming up. The sun is now out and its
quite hot. We spend about 2 1/2 hours at Rocky and Gothersley Locks but we
got chatting, as you do to the other boaters and the time past quite
quickly. We invite a small cruiser owned by Jim and crewed by May, to join us in the lock, as together we will just fit. This will save time and water, they accept very quickly and skip the 10 boat queue, are they pleased or what!. Jim and May are both retired, only met about 3 months ago and are from Lancaster. Jim moor's on the Lancaster canal and this trip is the first they have made together and they are out for a month. They are having a ball. Lovely couple. This stretch is super though thick forest and overhanging rocks that look like they will fall down any minute. Its very narrow in some places but even if you do meet another boat and we met several, all is passable with care.
Its really pretty with the sun shinning through the trees and the gentle
sound of water lapping against the boat. We arrive in Kinver at 7.45pm and
I am quite sorry that the boating day has ended. Kinver is chock a block
with boats and we have to go a long way down before we can moor. We both
have a quick shower  then off to the pub for dinner. The pub on the bridge,
The Vine is our target. Its very busy but we get a table by the door. T
bone steak looks good and it was, at second attempt, after going back to be
cooked a little more, farmhouse pie for Wendy which was fine. Jim and May
join us, for just the one and we stagger back to the boat at about 11.30pm.

Monday 25th August 1997 (Bank Holiday Monday)

Wake up late, 9.00am. Weather overcast but dry. We leave Kinver at 11.00am
deciding to let most of the boats, some 15, get ahead of us and therefore
we won't have a queue today. How wrong can you be?. We queued for 1 hour at
Debdale and 2 1/2 hours at Wolverley. The weather was fine and we chatted
with other boaters, and nobody seemed to mind about the wait, it was bank
holiday after all. The canal here is still very pretty and interesting. At
5.00pm we pull up at Kidderminster and moor under the clock in the same
place as last year. Chinese takeaway for dinner and watch TV and the sunset
which was fantastic.

Tuesday 26th August 1997

The day is overcast and humid. The water pump has been kicking in for no
apparent reason over the last couple of days and I decide that its worn
washers on the taps. We wonder into Kiddy at 9.00am to get provisions,
headphones for my new radio and the washers. Arriving at Tandy at 8.57am,  I
try the door which is locked. A shop assistant looks at me from the back of
the shop and then looks at her watch and then returns to her chat with
another assistant. This attitude in shops makes my blood boil, so I rattle
the door again, hard. Its now 8.59am and the assistant opens the door
looking hard done by. I complain and sarcastically suggest that she put in
for overtime. The manager looks amused. I buy the headphones, good value
at 3.99UKP. At Homebase the man advises me that I need a 1/2 inch washer as
I show him the tap I had bought from the boat. "They are all 1/2 inch". It
looks a bit big to me but what do I know. On returning to the boat I try
and fit the new washers and sure enough they are to big. Not only that but
in trying to force the washer in I broke the brass holder and the tap now
leaks more than it did before. Back to the store go I. Another man replaces
the 2 whole fittings complete with washers. Back to the boat go I and fit
the new parts. All is well until I try and put the tops on. Guess what,
they don't fit. Back at Homebase (are you keeping up with this)  the man
hides as I enter the store and  explode at the lack of service. I get 2 new
tops as well and my original purchase money back. The moral of this story
is, if you want 2 new taps for free, go to Homebase. We leave Kiddy at
11.30am and its now hot, or is that me, The first lock you reach after
leaving Kidderminster and its industrial bit of canal, has to be one of the
picturesque in the country. Steep cliffs the colour of rust with marble
like streams, on one side and trees all around, quite lovely. The canal
winds through some great countyside and we see other boats but not many. We
eventually arrive at Stourport on Severn at 2.00pm. The weather is now hot
and sunny. We dunny dump and take on water and then head down the 2 narrow
staircase locks watched by lots of people. At 4.00pm we head onto the
Mighty Severn, well mighty compared to the canals we have been used to for
the last couple of weeks. The river welcomes us in bright sunshine. My new
radio and headphones now come into there own. Sitting on the back of the
boat in glorious surroundings listening to Talk Radio with the throb of
happy engine under my feet, what more could a chap want. All the locks on
the Severn are manned and at Lincombe Lock the keeper asks us to take a
coat to the next lock, apparently the keeper was there in the morning and
had forgotten it. We take it with pleasure. We continue on, not many other
boats about, and at Holt Lock return the coat to its owner. Our destination
for the night is Camp House Inn, just above Grimley and we arrive at
5.30pm. The moorings here are very high, about 1 foot above the top of the
boat and we have some problem in securing 'One Moore' especially as
fishermen are in the way and are reluctant to move. After a shower we walk
up the garden to the pub and dinner. Rabbit pie for Wendy and chicken pie
for me. All very tasty indeed. Wendy's only complaint was that the red wine
was cold but my Guinness was wonderful. We got talking to a chap called Tom,
who has a permanent mooring at the pub and lives on board. An ex school
teacher. Nice chap, as were his friends who joined us later. We left at
10.30pm and headed for our beds, they stayed until 2.30am!.

Wednesday 27th August 1997

After some filming of the many Hens, Ducks, Turkeys, Geese, Peacocks and
other assorted wildlife that lives in the grounds of Camp House we leave in
dull weather at 9.00am. The stretch of the Severn we are going to do today
is super and I settle down at the tiller with my Walkman on, tuned to Talk
Radio again. The subject, ironically was Diana Princess of Wales and her,
then, interview in a French magazine. How sad to think that this was only
10 days before her tragic death. the ignition light is still flashing so I
have not completely solved the battery problem with the fitting of the new
bushes in the alternator but the batteries are charging o.k. Dredging work
is still going on at Bevere Lock as it was last year and we are directed
through a narrow channel in the river of deep water. As we approach
Worcester it starts to rain and visibility is difficult. The city looks
nice from the river with flowers hanging from all available lamposts and
some specially erected ones. On through the huge Diglis Lock, which is
always an experience, and in the now spitting rain we eventually get to
Upton Upon Severn at 1.00pm. We stop and moor. A short walk to the very pretty little town of Upton is always worth it. We get a paper and some odds and sods. After some lunch we are off again on the last leg to Tewkesbury where we arrive at 3.30pm. Its now hot and sunny. Why now, and not 6 hours ago, oh well that's boating. Still the River
Severn is always enjoyable and this trip was no exception. We are greeted
at the lock by Gilbert Swanson the keeper. He asks if we have seen a boat
called 'Ribble', a Dartline Nb. Apparently a young girl has been abducted
and the Police think she may be on board. We can't recall the boat but will
report if we do. As usual the sight of a boat going through Tewkesbury Lock
attracts much attention from onlookers and we explain to some young
children how the lock works. Passing Tewkwesbury Marina we wave to friends
Pat and Peachy, their boat is covered in flowers originally from 'One
Moore' and looks very nice. God knows how he sees where he is going. We
moor at the Fleet Inn, Twinning, just outside Tewkesbury. We are not the
first to moor here and we have to breast up on a hire boat. I try and get a
T.V. picture and have only mild success. I am just settling down with a
pint, when 'Ribble' goes past. 5 youngsters are sitting in the bow and 2
adults are on the stern, all looking jolly and enjoying the trip. I get on
the mobile and phone Gilbert, who then phoned the Police. We found out
later that when the boat arrived at Tewkesbury Lock the police were waiting
and searched the boat with no evidence of the missing girl. The boat
continued on its way. In the evening after we had had an excellent meal at
the Fleet, T bone for me and pork for Wendy, we met up with Mike and Ann
friends we had met earlier in the year on a trip to Stratford Upon Avon, and
had just the one finishing up with a few drops of the Irish on board. What
a night that was. We slept well that night!.

Thursday 28th August 1997

We left the fleet in good weather. Nothing much has changed. We know this
stretch of the Avon so well. At Bredon a tree has fallen in the recent high
winds right across a cruiser and smashed it to bits, sinking it. A crowd
has gathered to watch it being dragged from the river by tractor. We meet a
hire boat crewed by Germans in Strensham Lock. Everything has to be done by
the book with almost military precision. We stop for water and dunny dump
at the point just after Strensham Lock. We arrive at Pershore at 3.00pm and
moor up for our last evening.  We relax in the afternoon and then have a
takeaway from the excellent Indian in the town. PPM watch TV, a very good
picture.

Friday 29th August 1997

Our last day. We got up late and walked into town for a look around. This
is a nice little town with a good range of shops and a large Abbey if you
like old churches. 12 noon and we are off for the last leg home. Its warm
and fine and the engine seems to be slow, its like me, not wanting to go
home. All is quiet apart from the odd boat going the other way and the bird
songs in the air. At 3.30pm we arrive back at our mooring in Evesham. A new
cruiser has appeared in the next mooring but apart from that all is the
same.
A wonderful holiday.


Engine clock 05555

Statistics

Miles 220 - Days Out 21 - Total Hours Chugged 117 - Total Bridges - 445  Total Locks 151 - Hostility nil  

September 1st – November 2nd 1997

Between these dates various trips were made locally on the Avon from Evesham to Pershore and Sankey and The Bridge Inn. The boat was put to bed for the winter after a weekend at Sankey on November 2nd.

Clock engine – 05585

Total Hours for season 285