Below Kidlington Green Lock
We arrived in Banbury last Monday and in doing so we have completed a ring of three hundred and fifty one miles. It has taken us five months to do it, so it doesn’t need any great mathematical skill to deduce that it is not a record breaking trip for speed.
But it has been a very memorable one. We have visited and seen many different and interesting places and though I did the trip three years ago on my own, this time with two companions I enjoyed a complete new experience, which I hope you have enjoyed too in the previous postings.
In spite of the summer weather, tinges of autumn showing in the trees
Taking on water at tidy Thrupp
On Monday afternoon as we approached Banbury Lock, both ships were given an unexpected hand by a lady who introduced herself as one of the blog readers. Candy’s help was greatly appreciated, especially with the lift bridge which otherwise takes some detailed planning take two single handed boats through without disturbing the life of pedestrians too much. It was lovely also to be hailed by a stranger who reads what I write. Thank you Candy for both your help and reading loyalty.
Aynho Weir lock takes two 57 footers at the same time
Since then Janis has set off by coach for Newark and she will be away for a few days, while sister Sharon re-joined us on Tuesday to look after ‘Roots and Wings’ in the meantime, having returned from her trip to Greece. Next Friday Sharon finally leaves us after a glorious summer, to return to Australia where she lives. Her companionship as well as her crewing and planning expertise will be greatly missed I know.
Quiet and peaceful mooring at Kirtlington
As is usual there is much going on in Banbury at the moment. On Wednesday evening Sharon and I went to the Folk Club at the nearby Mill where we were so thrilled by the professionalism of the performing local talent that I’m sure I shall go again next week. I need to have my Russell Newbery serviced by John at Tooley’s while Janis needs ‘Roots and Wings’ to be dry-docked for blacking, so we should also be around for the now famed ‘Banbury Canal Day’ celebrations, including ‘Theatre in the Dock’, when the ancient dry-dock (circa 1790) is turned into a theatre. This should be good fun and I’m looking forward to it.
In the meantime I am very happy to soak up the ambience of my old home town. Even though the shop front names in the shopping mall are changed each time I visit, the atmosphere remains the same. The character of the people hasn’t altered at all since when I was a lad. Though the faces are not the same over the many years, the quality and nature has not changed so that they appear to be the same person over different generations; That dirty bearded fellow still dosses on a cold winter night on the seat in the bus shelter open to the elements, as he has done for centuries, while the same table by the door at the ‘Fleur de Lys’ pub, providing quick access outside for a few puffs in between drinks, is still surrounded by the taciturn group of men that I am sure have been there every day for fifty years. Not that I have been there myself each time to find out of course, but you know what I mean. Change takes a long time in Banbury.
Though I have no ties here in Banbury any more, my deep roots will always remain.