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The Waterways Wanderings of Narrowboat “Just Heaven”

Repaint date set!

We started the day at nine o’clock with a wonderful cooked breakfast before setting off to meet Bob at 11:30am.

The repaint date has been set for March 27th and colours have been agreed, apparently we were the most organised cutomers he’d ever had! We left Bob and went for a walk round the extremely pleasant town of Southam, dipping in and out of charity shops and discount stores before setting back to the boat for lunch. The rest of the day was relaxed and spent playing on our computers in front of the fire, a couple of card games and Rumikub. Going home tomorrow.

Boat jumble

Just here for a couple of nights, mainly to go to see Bob Mitchell about the repaint.
We have grandson Josh with us. On the way here we called in at the West Midlands boat jumble at Throckmorton airfield. We bought some rope and a new rear fender. The weather today has been really good, bright and sunny, such a change from recently.

Colour Choices

The boat is booked in for a repaint in March, so we have had to really think hard about the colours.

We have finally narrowed down the colour choice for the repaint to the two below. We would really welcome your input into the decision making process!

blue-green
Blue on Green
green-blue
Green on Blue
Click the pictures for a bigger version

Please select one below, make a comment if you wish, and fill in your name & email – Thanks
Blue on Green
Green on Blue
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Banbury

Just a short chug down to Banbury, going back tomorrow.

The floods seem to have gone down a bit, though there is still a lot of water rushing down the by-washes. We arrived here about 3 o’clock and popped into Castle Quay for a bit of shopping. Back to Cropredy tomorrow.

 

Back again

The ¬†weather was appalling as we drove to Stourport, with the spray on the M40 making for very poor visibility. Lunch was served soon after we arrived at Andrew & Shiela’s. We worked off the lunch by taking Dylan the dog for a walk as the rain had stopped. The evening was spent nattering, consuming wine and G&T’s and playing cards. A quick ¬†toast at midnight then off to bed.

This morning Andrew & Wendy Dyke drove over from Evesham and we all had lunch together some more nattering, then we drove back to Cropredy.

cherwell-flood

The Cherwell in flood at Cropredy

Still here

The plan was to set off this morning for Braunston to meet friends Andrew & Sheila on NB ‘Uncle Mort’ for New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately the weather has taken control of things. When we awoke it was blowing a gale and raining hard. The forecast for the next few days is pretty dire. A flurry of texts and emails between us and Andrew confirmed that it wasnt worth attempting the trip to Braunston, so we agreed to drive to their flat in Stouport tomorrow and spend New Year’s Eve there. Today was spent mooching round the shops in Banbury to avoid the rain.

 

Cropredy Marina

After a ‘Champagne Afternoon Tea’ at Thornbury Castle to celebrate a friends 60th birthday we drove to Cropredy, lit the fire, had a glass of wine and went to bed.

 

On our bikes

We have been considering for some time that the boat needs a re-paint. It’s a big decision, and a lot of money, so we didnt want to rush it.

Over the summer we had been looking at lots of boats and assessing the colours and style of the paintwork. We had talked to lots of boaters regarding who we might get to do the work and one name cropped up several times, Bob Mitchell from Fenny Compton. As that it only about 5 miles from Cropredy we decided to go to see him.

On Wednesday we first walked another section of the Cotswold way. We started last year and do about 6 or 7 miles at a time. The most recent part was from Dowdeswell to Leckhampton, which is conveniently on the route from home to Cropredy. We drove straight from the walk to Fenny Compton and had a chat with Bob. I had thought that we would take the boat for him to see the next day. But he gave us a price there and then for taking all the vents, windows etc off, stripping back to bare metal and doing a full re-paint. We went back to the boat to think about it.

The next day we intended to take the boat up to Fenny to tell Bob that we would like him to do the job. The weather wasnt too good, quite windy, so we went by bike instead. The towpath on this part of the Oxford isn’t in very good condition. We had to be very careful not end up in the water. We had another good chat to Bob discussing colour schemes etc and booked her in for March.

Lunch was taken in the Wharf Inn, an excellent sausage sandwich (& a bowl of chips !) We chickened out further towpath cycling and went back by road.

 

Above Cropredy Lock

Saturday

We are going to cycle, on our new Tern fold-up bikes, to the Banbury Canal day tomorrow. To get there from our mooring in the marina would entail going all round the marina, out onto the road and then into the village to get on the towpath. So instead we came just outside the marina and moored up so that we can get straight onto the towpath.

Sunday

The weather has been really good, warm and sunny for the time of year. We set off for Banbury about 9:45. The towpath here isnt in the best condition! In places its narrow, muddy and with deep ruts. At one point I got my front wheel stuck in a rut and went stright over the handlebars. I was lucky not to land in the cut!

Banbury was packed with people enjoying the weather at the Canal Day. We bought some lovely bread and some French cheese at the continental marketfor our lunch. I had previously emailed Simon on ‘Vida Nueva’ to say we would be there. So we had a cup of tea on board and put a face to a virtual acquaintance. Cycling back seemed easier than going, maybe we had got used to the rough terrain.

We we got back we took the boat down through the lock, winded, back up the lock then back into the marina.

Cropredy Marina

After 412 miles, 396 locks and 12 tunnels we have arrived!
The morning started out OK, but then we got into a queue at Bourton lock. One boat in the lock and four waiting. In the last 6 weeks or so we have hardly had to queue at all, and here we are only a couple of miles from ‘home’ and having to wait almost an hour for a lock! To make matters worse it started to rain, the worst weather of the whole trip. I hope these aren’t omens of what is to come!
We checked in with Dave the harbour master and made our way to our allotted berth. A glass of red wine was then taken in celebration.

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