Monday, 29 September 2014

Moving on ...

 Saturday saw us moving on from Days Lock and nb No Problem; we’re off to meet up with friends further upstream
 Approaching Clifton Hampden Bridge built around 1864 for Sir Henry Hucks Gibbs (1819-1907) who was a director, deputy governor and governor of the Bank of England between 1897 and 1901.
 We could easily have missed the cutting to Culham Lock!
 Sue was telling us only the other day of her adventure here when she canoed her way under this bridge and along Swift Ditch!
 The spire of St Helen’s Church announces our approach to Abingdon ...
... we’d been warned to steer well clear of the bouys on the approach to the town - we need to follow the canoeist in front keeping well to the left of the yellow bouy ...
 ... to navigate passed this tug - not sure what they’re doing here - dredging perhaps?
 It’s lovely coming into Abingdon from this direction seeing these terraced cottages bordering the river ...
 ... but will we get a mooring here?
 Just! Right at the end of the visitor moorings but with wonderful uninterrupted views of the Abingdon Bridge and the Nags Head pub which last time we came this way was boarded up - so good to see it open and seemingly thriving today.
 Our view of St Helen’s Church spire from the stern deck ...
... and working boats Brighton and Nuneaton as they passed us a little while later.

Our friends Dennis and Barbara arrived late afternoon when we had  our evening meal alfresco on the deck of Still Rockin’

 Sunday morning we woke up to a slight mist giving us this lovely atmospheric view through Abingdon Bridge
 After a breakfast of Staffordshire Oatcakes (thanks Den!) with bacon and cheese we set off at about 10 am - Barbara looking good in her life jacket for her first cruise on Still Rockin'
 Just the one lock today at Abingdon
 Gosh - 85 miles to Teddington - it’s only taken us just over 5 weeks!!
In the 1760 the first Earl of Harcourt had a village demolished so that he could build Nuneham House and create the landscaped park surrounding it.  Interestingly during WWII the house and gardens were requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence and used for photographic reconnaissance interpretation of aerial photos of enemy territory taken by RAF pilots based at nearby Benson.  The property remained with the MOD until the mid-1950s when it was handed back to the Harcourt family who later sold it to Oxford University.
 Not far now - approaching Sandford Lock where we decided to stay in the visitor mooring below the lock and walk up to the King’s Arms for Sunday lunch.

The weather couldn’t have been better, it was at least 24 degrees and I was back in a skirt and short-sleeved top instead of jeans - wonderful!
After Dennis and Barbara left us to take a taxi back to their car parked in Abingdon we decided that we’d stay on the mooring for another day - it’s such a lovely tranquil setting - what could be better!

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