Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Licked by Lechlade cattle

Wednesday 13th July;  Chimney to Lechlade

Another lovely day, with last night’s rain having barely affected the river flow.  Here we are leaving the lovely mooring.

1 leaving chimney

We joined Koh-i-noor, from Shardlow, at Rushey lock, where the lockie had just come on duty. 

4radcot lock

They had moored last night at the pub at Tadpole bridge, and been astonished to discover they would be charged £25 unless they had a meal.  So they did, and said it was nice but over-priced.  They were so cross that there was no sign to this effect on the mooring that they wrote him a ‘stiff letter’ the next morning.

We stopped for lunch at the Kelmscott moorings and to visit Kelmscott Manor which is only open on Wednesdays and two Saturdays a month. The best spots were taken and we ended up with a very rough and nettley patch.   William Morris the textile designer (among many other attributes) lived here with his family and the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.  The house is beautiful and contains examples of Morris’s work.

8 the lovely climbing rose

The garden is beautifully kept too.  Round the back was the 3-seater privy.  Though we imagine the family probably had chamber pots at least in winter.

9 the privy 3-hole

They didn’t have down-pipes as we know them, but rather an interesting arrangement of V-shaped gutters and water-spouts to keep the rain off the walls.

11 check out the gutters and spouts

We carried on up to Lechlade after our visit.  We have seen a lot of red kites on this trip and Dave managed to catch one on film.

6a kite

At St John’s Lock we were looking forward to seeing Old Father Thames and Dave took the obligatory picture!

15a me and father thames

We knew that the cattle on the meadow moorings at Lechlade are prone to chewing bits of boat, so we though we would try elsewhere, fondly imagining there would be moorings beyond the bridge.  But no such luck, so we had to turn in the winding hole at the limit of navigation.  However, another load of cattle were lying in wait for us, or rather standing around, in the river opposite the winding hole, making it rather difficult to turn – not only were they in the way, but they had trodden the bank into the water.

17 blocking the winding hole

We got round in the end by going a little way up the river, avoiding the cows and in spite of the wind which was coming directly downriver and blowing us sideways back downstream.  The photo below is of the Thames beyond the limit of navigation.  Intrepid friends of ours who used to have a narrow boat managed to get about two miles further on some years ago, eventually getting stuck on a bend and having to be pulled free by the boat they went up with.  There seems to be some kind of barrier or fallen tree preventing such adventures now.

18 where the thames comes from

We went back downstream and turned again quite easily before mooring on the meadows.  After putting fenders and plants pots out of reach we rather enjoyed watching the curious young cattle though it was a bit annoying having cow slobber over your freshly washed and polished boat!

22 meadow mooring

They particularly seemed to like Koh-i-Noor, which was red.  They seem to have no fear of boats or people or dogs, and none seemed to miss their footing along the edges.  They did get close!

23 very close

It was a beautiful sunny evening with occasional visits from the cows.

11 miles, 5 locks

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