And now onto the Avon River

12-06-2019 20:06

We left Stratford  when the rain had stopped Saturday afternoon and turned left going to Old  Bathing Place for services. It’s not very far to the end of the navigation so we turned and travelling past the park a hire boat left its mooring and joined us. 

It’s really nice to travel with another boat as it makes it so pleasant and half the work. Irene and George (not his real name but too difficult to spell and say it and he said that George was the nearest) come from Germany. They stopped a little before us and we went on to Barton Lock and then in the morning to a nice mooring at Bidford.

We have passed some of the most beautiful houses 

and a dog guarding the manor!

It always amuses me to read the description of the Duchess of Dudley Trust and how it was started. In the guide book it says… The moorings were given by the Duchess of Dudly Trust which, in the 18th century sent out curates to rescue English maidens from the harems of the East. Apparently a singularly unsuccessful enterprise!

We had a walk into Bidford village, again interesting houses, one premises for sale caught our eyes I wonder what it will be?

I went into the small supermarket whilst Clive and Daymer eyed up the cars.

Of course I had to buy one of their special pies as Clive and I shared one a few years ago. Superb then and superb now.

Our lovely mooring.   


 And a park right beside for Daymer

Gill and John Speight, Waterways Chaplains we had met thru Roger and Pam Sharples at Light and Life St Austell. A lovely evening spent nattering together and a donation of a chunk of lemon cake from Gill.

On to a mooring called Lant in the middle of nowhere on Monday . We passed a car that had got into difficulties .

Then thru Chadbury lock and past a furious flow from the weir !

Flood levels in the past

A short trip to Pershore on Tuesday after Fladbury lock where the high water marks are pretty scary! 

It does have a couple of beautiful mills, one we thought derelict but in fact not, and the weir too!

Thru the lock before Pershore and we met a work boat who’s crew helped us thru. I was able to talk to the fellow nearest me who came from Poland and gave him a card and a pack of sweets for them all to share.

We arrived at the moorings in Pershore to see George coming to help us. He said they were heading back and we waved them off. George and Irene have been reading the blog. Then we saw several others turning back and the work boat passing us with lots of waves and tooting.

We’ll probably stay here at Pershore for a couple of nights and wait to see how the river flow changes, we’ve got Asda just across the field so plenty of food and walks for Daymer.
Evening viewing includes ‘The Thames Britains Great River’on channel 5. It includes our favourite mooring and favourite lock keeper at Abingdon. Richard was on for quite a bit but they didn’t mention that he he saved the lives of a number of people.

Wednesday. After thinking things thru we’ve decided to turn around and get back to Stratford ASAP, the weather forecast does not look good. We saw two boats get going back before we were ready. We’re pleased we did as we got a text from John and Gill who we met on Sunday. The flow is increasing and then as we left another text to say that the Droitwich canal where we were headed was closed. 

How nutty is this a school day out on double canoes!

On our way we saw 2 cormorants drying their wings.

A willow tree going the other way faster than us?

Our route onwards was to join the Seven River at Tewksbury then leave the river at the Droitwich canal. When we get to Stratford we’ll think about the route next, although we have to go upwards on the Stratford Canal.

We’re both grateful that the Lord was watching over us, as we left Evesham the retired lock  keeper’s wife came out to help us and said proceed with caution as the flow increased at the tight bend. Oh boy it did, Clive pushed the morse up more than ever before and it was hard going to keep the boat going in the right direction and no rain as we travelled! It only rained when we were thru George Billington Lock or now Offenham as its called and decided to moor for the night. It’s pouring now. 

As we arrived at the lock we did see that the rise of the river marker was on red! No wonder we were having probs moving against the flow.

Only 2 locks to Bidford a short stay (for another pie) and then under Bidford Bridge which is the lowest on the river where we could get stuck  if the river levels are any higher. 

There are free 24 hr flood safe moorings either at locks or spaces on the map. Flood safe means there are 12ft poles with rings for the mooring lines, this is so if there is a flood the boat tied to the rings can move upwards! Scary!