It was raining when we got up this morning, and still raining when we pulled pins and set off. If we don’t cruise in the rain this week, we won’t be cruising at all!
Leaving our mooring near New Bridge
A couple of miles upstream we came to Shifford Lock, at 7’4” the deepest this side of Oxford. Most of them are around 4’, a comfortable height to get on and off the boat.
The Thames is a lowland river, from the head of navigation to the tidal lock at Teddington it only falls 230 feet over 125 miles.
We were a bit worried to see the walkway at the lower landing under 6” of water, but were relieved to see a lock-keeper in attendance. At least I didn’t have to get my feet wet.
He told us that the landing is commonly awash, in fact it’s barely been above water in the last 2 months.
Splendid Shifford Lock House, date stone 1897
From here to the next lock, Rushey, the river winds extravagantly through water meadows and woodland. With a bit of water coming down, care was needed on the sharp, blind bends.
Bendy bits below Shifford
The concrete structure is a WWII pillbox, part of the defences using the river as a natural stop-line in the event of a German invasion.
Crossings are few and far between at this end of the river, we’d passed under a small footbridge, recently built to carry the Thames Path, the next was Tadpole Bridge.
Tadpole Bridge, in mellow Cotswold stone. This is a relatively recent structure, built in the late 18c. This makes it an amazing 400 years newer than New Bridge a few miles downstream.
Rushey Lock is another mile upstream, and it was just above the lock that we called it quits for the day.
Moored above the lock
We took the pooches for a walk after tea and Mags’ ginger cake, following a footpath north of the lock. It turned into a bit of an expedition ….
Fallen tree to negotiate across the end of a short bridge
I don’t think George is doing Pope impressions, but you never know…
Molly just didn’t want to give up that stick!
It’s been a grey, drizzly sort of day, and it looks like we’re in for more of the same tomorrow. Roll on summer. Oh, I forgot. This IS summer!
Locks 2, miles 6