Good signal?

Or so I thought. It has taken me a couple of hours to individually load the pictures for this blog! Anyway here’s to the next bit of our adventure. Bank Holiday Monday we stayed below Seend locks. As it had turned warmer we sorted some summery clothes from storage, and put away some wintery ones. We also changed the duvet to a lighter one. It was a typical BH in that it rained most of the day, so I made some gingerbread and a loaf. We still had the company of Mary and Stephen. Tuesday we decided to move to Hilperton getting caught in rain showers along the way. Moorings were still lacking, but we ended up by an industrial estate with a Lidl at the end of it. So I walked to it with the trolley to purchase some of our favourite wine and fruit and veg; oh and something for our anniversary dinner on Wednesday. We hadn’t taken any pictures along this stretch due to the rain. Later in the day we were joined again by Mary and Stephen.

Wednesday 31st May and it’s our 42nd Anniversary! We walked with Izzy to Lidl again and purchased some fresh croissants for breakfast. It turned hot and sunny again, and we enjoyed an anniversary meal of ribs (from Lidl), corn cobs and various salads, all washed down with a bottle of our favourite wine.

Thursday 1st June and it was lovely and sunny, so we moved quite early to Bradford on Avon. It is described as a mini Bath, and above the lock it was certainly very busy with walkers, cyclists and families (half term). There is also a hire boat base here, and many were venturing out.

Filling up with water at Bradford on Avon

We went through the lock with a day boat helping guide them with lock procedure. After exiting the lock we found a good mooring at the end of a line of concrete for 48hrs. There were volunteers rebuilding a stone wall near the old Tithe barn; they were using a stone cutter and suggested we may get covered in dust but as it turned out they didn’t use it much and left early afternoon for the weekend. We had a walk around Bradford Farm Park with Izzy, looking for the Saxon church but found out we were going in the wrong direction, so we decided to leave that for Friday. Later in the day Mary and Stephen moored behind us again. We are moored near the Tithe barn which is a very impressive building.

Great Tithe barn. Built in the 14th century by the Abbess of Shaftesbury. It is 168ft long which is broken by 2 porches. The barn is part of the medieval Barton farm which was part of the monastic estate of Shaftsbury Abbey

the beamed roof of the Tithe barn

Charlie drooled over this Austen Healey. We had a green one in our younger pre children days.

Friday 2nd June and we had our promised walk into Bradford on Avon and what a lovely place it is. A selection of the photo’s taken shows how olde worlde it is.

hillside view of Bradford

Holy Trinity church reflection. A 12th century church with additions over the next 3 centuries. Many of the names on the memorials relate to the woollen industry that made Bradford famous. It is now undergoing a restoration after a valuable painting was found within it; permission was granted for the church to sell the painting so it is that money that is funding the restoration. It certainly is a stunning restoration.

Saxon church of St Lawrence founded in AD705; the tiny church was enlarged in the 10th century and since then has survived unchanged. During it’s life it has been a school, a cottage and a slaughterhouse. The true origins of the building were only discovered in the 19th century, and it remains one of the best surviving Saxon churches in England.

the altar in the Saxon church

street view

and another street view

Town bridge. A nine arched bridge that is unusual for having a chapel in the middle (one of only 4 still surviving in Britain). Parts of the bridge including the chapel are medieval, but much dates from the 17th century rebuilding. During the 17-18th centuries the chapel fell out of use and was turned into a small prison serving the town as a lock up.

the chapel on the bridge

Abbey Mill (now retirement flats)

history of Abbey Mill

Heron fishing on the Avon

As we were walking around the town I was on the lookout for a hairdressers as my hair was in desperate need of a trim. Charlie keeps threatening me with the clippers! Anyway I went into a hairdressers to be told they didn’t do dry cuts and that it would cost either £30-40 depending on the stylist. I quickly walked out as I only wanted a haircut not a new wig! I spyed a sign for a barbers; asking the barber if he cut women’s hair he at first said no; then asked me what I wanted done. He then said he could do it there and then so Charlie waited outside with Izzy, and I had my hair trimmed by a barber. It was a first for both of us. I was really pleased with it as it is now nice and short again and should last a few weeks Cost £9.50 (that’s better on the old purse). We had a walk later in the afternoon to Sainsbury’s to have a look around. We met up with the couple on Hotel Boat The Billet. They had picked up some guests at Bath and were heading back. At one point we were following them.

Saturday 3rd June and we moved off early heading for Avoncliff. We said a temporary goodbye to Mary and Stephen as they didn’t want to get to Bristol too soon.

leaving Bradford

aqueduct at Avoncliff

We wanted to stop here as there is a quaint railway station here, but we were having the usual trouble of getting the boat near to the side. So we abandoned that plan (try on the way back), and carried on to Dundas aqueduct. Both of these areas have sharp turns to negotiate, but we managed without mishap. Both Aqueducts were designed by John Rennie, the architect of the K&A., and both built in 1804. We managed to moor on 48hr moorings just before Dundas aqueduct.

looking over the aqueduct to the sanitary station

looking up at the Dundas aqueduct from the River Avon

aqueduct goes over the River Avon and the railway line

We walked along the restored section of the Somerset Coal canal to Brassknocker Basin as we had been told the cafe sold nice ice cream. The coal canal was built in 1805 as a more efficient way to transport coal from the Somerset coalfields to Bath, Bristol and the rest of England. It carried a large tonnage of coal throughout the 19th century and it served 30 collieries more directly than the railway. There were many difficulties to overcome though due to steep gradients along the route. The canal was officially abandoned in 1904, as competition from the railway was reducing the traffic. A small section has been restored and is now private moorings and a day boat/canoe hire base with restaurant. We had our ice cream which was lovely but very expensive for one scoop! Must stock up in Lidl on the way back!

entrance to the Somerset Coal canal

Sunday 4th June was spent washing, polishing and cleaning the boat; then the rain came. I have now put the heavy duvet back on the bed as the evenings have turned chilly again. Half term is now over so things should quieten again hopefully. Today (Monday 5th June) we woke up to heavy rain but we needed to move off the 48hr mooring, so Charlie decided to leave the stern hood up while we travelled about a mile to Claverton. On another good mooring here as there is another pumping station nearby which we were going to visit, but rain has stopped play. We are now approx 4 miles from Bath and hope to get moored somewhere there over the next couple of days, then journey to Bristol for Friday.

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