We stayed for 2 nights on our quiet mooring above Dashwood’s lock. The weather has really been exceptional for this time of year and we made the most of it and had a BBQ (we had one bag of charcoal left). I had enough chicken in the freezer, and made burgers with mince, and managed an assortment of salads with the ingredients I had available. It’s amazing what can be achieved with a little imagination.
We set off again on Thursday and we needed to fill up with water along the way. I set the washing machine off whilst cruising so the batteries maintain their charge. The water point at Lower Heyford is just before the bridge and is patrolled by a rather unusual character…
After filling with water and emptying the rubbish we set off again and made it to Upper Heyford, above Allen’s lock. We try and moor in open countryside if we can so the trees don’t block the solar panels. There were a few boats moored here but we found a quieter spot around the bend. We stayed here for 3 nights, and as the weather was still fair we cleaned the pram and cratch covers, and applied dubbin as this helps to protect the stitching and keeps the covers soft and more rain resistant. I also cleaned the mushroom air vents. Up till now I haven’t found anything that cleaned the brass, so they were looking very dull. Hey presto would you believe it I tried some Hob cleaner (citric acid based). and now they are looking lovely and shiny. This is good news as this product only cost a £1 as apposed to Brasso that is much more expensive and didn’t work.
Saturday we had a stroll into Upper Heyford. Not alot there as no shops, but some very lovely looking houses built in Cotswold stone. I expect very expensive. There are also ex RAF houses (unmistakeable), as there was an RAF base here (now abandoned since 1993).
The church dates back from the 13th century, but only the tower is original. The rest was restored in Victorian times. The churchyard has an area dedicated to WW2 pilots killed in action, and also to 2 american pilots who were killed in 1993 when they had to land their plane in an emergency, but managed to avoid the village. Inside there are strong links to the RAF with memorial plaques on the wall.
After lunch it was time for a Rugby fest!! And Izzy was also busy digging holes. Shame the England team weren’t as good as the weather!!
We moved again yesterday and wanted to stop at Aynho where we had moored on the way down. The 2 locks ahead were set in our favour which is always good. At Somerton deep lock there was a boat coming down and I helped him as he was single handed. We entered the lock and 2 boats arrived also wanting to come down. One of the boats had to get back to College cruisers in Oxford so they were in a hurry, and they negotiated to go first, as the other boat had only just started their holiday. As I closed the gate the hire boat crews were a little too quick in getting the paddles open thus sending our boat back and forth in the lock. I gently explained the correct procedure to prevent that happening. As we exited the lock the College cruiser boat entered and it was being steered by Michael Fabricant MP. I had to google his name but knew his face from watching “Have I got news for you”, as he has appeared on there a few times. They had a long day ahead of them to get back to Oxford
Along the way we saw……..
We didn’t stop at Aynho as there were too many boats and we would have been nose to tail (or bow to stern).
So we carried on through Aynho weir lock (diamond shaped), Nell Bridge lock, past the farm shop and finally found a mooring past Kings Sutton lock. A bit further than we wanted to travel but now we are nearer to Banbury for a quick cruise in the morning.
We have to move tomorrow as our 3 cassettes will need emptying, and more water will be required. That will be the first job on arrival in Banbury. The second will be find a mooring, and the third fill up on supplies.