Friday, 17 May 2013

Muddy Waters - Friday 17th May 2013

Thrupp is the home of boats, Muddy Waters and Jolly, of the book fame and are targeted at the family with children. I just wondered what they would be saying to one another moored here at Thrupp Wide.
A muddy waters
Somebody in Thrupp has decided that their road signs, posts, and water supply need to be kept warm over the winter as they have knitted woollen covers for them.
B Cosy Tops
This morning we decided to take a bus trip to the village of Deddington where June’s sister had a stall at the Farmers Market on the 4th Saturday of each month. It is a nice looking Cotswold village but did not have much happening there so after a walk around the village we had a coffee in the local Cafe come deli, visited the Co-op for some provisions and caught the next bus back to the boat. We met an interesting couple at the bus stop and had a great chat about the village and the people who lived there. The gentleman had been involved with race horses for most of his working life and their children were into hunting and horse riding. Their daughters last horse had been struck by lightening whilst in the field and died due to it having metal shoes.
C Deddington Mkt
Having returned to the boat early we decided to have lunch at Annies Cafe next to the Lift bridge as a couple we had met off another boat had recommended it. We had home made cheese scones with cheddar cheese and salad and they were lovely. The cafe was busy all the time we were their with local and foreign visitors.
E annies Cafe
Later in the afternoon we took Phoenix a long walk around the fields and woods and ended up back on the canal walking up to Shipton Weir Lock where we helped a narrow boat through as the steel offset gate is a devil to open by one person. This is a strange "diamond" shaped lock. The reason I am told for this was to collect as much water as possible from the River Cherwell (which joins the canal at this point). This is a very shallow lock and subsequent ones (heading towards Oxford) are deeper. So, to avoid emptying the canal as boats used the waterways, James Brindley came up with this rather clever idea to get extra water into this lock every time it was used. There is another one further north at Aynho Weir at which point the river crosses the canal at right angles.                                              I am not sure that this is the real reason as why would they have not just put an adjustable weir into the canal from the river which would have ensured a constant flow of water. I would suspect that it was more a case of creating a more stable lock shape in ground next to the river which could be unstable particularly in flood conditions. The fall from the river is also only a few inches and even with the increased width it would not have compensated for the loss of water further down the locks..
D Lock
Back at the boat we have seen many boats travelling late and looking for moorings, several of them were parties of lads some  dressed as pirates and the like, but Thrupp was foll so they would have had to have gone on towards Kidlington.

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