Tuesday 22nd May; Fladbury to Bidford
It’s still sunny but a fair bit cooler and more comfortable than it has been over the last few days. As Dave returned from Meg’s morning stroll he spotted what was in the garden on the far side of the weir. It looks the sort of thing that would be taken to carnivals or fetes.
We needed to do some shopping so cracked on to Evesham. Along the way we spotted some irrigation in progress. The trouble with this method is that the water falling on the leaves is swiftly lost to evaporation. The alternative is miles and miles of pipework of course, or parched crops.
The oilseed rape is in evidence along the river bank, as it is in Evesham alongside the park with the Abbey in the distance.
There is an interesting sculpture to illustrate the legend. The swineherd and his pigs are lovely but I was less sure about the Virgin. She looks more like an alien than a person.
The chemists didn’t come up with the goods – Boots were out of stock and the independent wanted an email from the GP unless he wanted to pay for it! Luckily it’s not yet urgent. We walked back through the park. The first time we came here the original arch, of whale bones, was still in place but had become very brittle and likely to break so it was moved to the gardens of the original donor’s house, now the Evesham Hotel. There is a new arch and wooden sculpture of the whale (Bowhead, aka Greenland Right whale, if I remember rightly).
We had some lunch before setting off again, catching up with Futurest with whom we have been leap-frogging for a day or two.
Evidence of recent floods at Workman Bridge.
They had been waiting at Evesham lock for a while. The workboats going up had got jammed and the lock had to be emptied again before they could get themselves unstuck. We went up together and then shared Offenham lock (aka George Billington). We watered up and emptied a cassette. Futurest was staying, and as the afternoon wore on we wished we had too. Foolishly we didn’t take up one of the gloomy moorings below Harvington/Robert Aickman, then found the one above was taken. We slogged on through the heat, passing these thirsty cows
and were delighted to find plenty of room on the park moorings at Bidford. Within an hour they were full. Dave did some research on places to eat while Meg and I had a play in the park. She doesn’t appreciate river cruising as there is little opportunity to get off and mooch about.
We looked at the pubs, which were offering pretty standard pub fare, and fancied a curry, but had a pint in the Bull’s Head first. No 72 is the name of the curry house, on the crossroads. We had an excellent meal with delightful staff. Recommended, and they do takeaway too. They use foil dishes rather than the single-use plastic ones – I know this because they were happy to put the leftovers in one for lunch tomorrow!
13½ miles, 5 locks