The canal at Banbury was as busy on Sunday as it was on Saturday with the first boats on the move at 7am. Not us this time we didn’t leave until 12:55 after replenishing supplies at M&S.
Unusually for us on this trip we met boats at each of the two locks one in front going up and one or two waiting to come down.
We found the ground paddles at Hardwick and Bourton Locks quite vicious and having taken some care opening them still needed quite a bit of reverse to maintain position.
We saw a rather spectacular display of Rosebay Willowherb in a field next to Bourton Lock and could not resist a photo.
We had asked several people who had come to Banbury from Cropredy about moorings out in the country on the way. They had all been quite negative saying there were very few places and shallow water in the banks. Fake News – well mostly. We tried the banks in a few odd places and they were shallow but just before Slat Mill Lock (26) we were surprised to find a fairly long run of steel clad bank with deep water all along. It is in fact several inches deeper than we need. We moored here, at 14:45, and walked into Cropredy taking a depth gauge (aka long stick marked with gaffer tape). On the way we found numerous similar places ideal for mooring and with lots of water. We were rather surprised at the sate of some of the boats moored just on the edge of Cropredy a few of which looked sadly neglected.
We stopped at the Brasenose Arms for a drink and when we walked into the bar there were the Straight ’N’ Narrow crew Billy and Lynda. We had a couple of drinks and a couple of words. None of us is very talkative so there wasn’t much to discuss!
We had a very enjoyable stroll back to Oliver although some cows challenged our rights to the canal on the way.
We arrived just in time for our evening meal and found one other boat had joined us in this excellent spot.
Anyone recognised the song yet?