Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Lechlade to Stroud.

Monday- We pulled the pins at Bablock Hythe at 09:00 destination Lechlade 20 miles further west. The whole of the journey is through farmland with a few small villages sitting back from the river, namely Northmoor, Shifford, Radcot & Kelmscott.

The day is blustery and grey, our moods are still sunny and cheerful. Sue and Diane locked us through unmanned gates and helped grateful lock keepers at others.

We kept up a good pace, part of the journey was at what is now known as 'washing machine' speed, this is when the engine revs are upped a little to help the alternator produce the extra power required to run the domestic appliance smoothly.

The upper reaches of the Thames can become monotonous but I enjoy the avenue of trees and tall reeds especially on a windy day like today. The wind plays a wandering tune as it ripples through the bankside vegetation, the tight twists to the meanders make tillering interesting.

So we are back at Lechlade, we were last here in June. Richard, Linda & Muffin caught up with us in the Riverside pub where we all enjoyed well earned drink or two ....Arkells 3B ale for me.

Since the 1930's Lechlade has been the end for powered craft going west on the Thames, before then it was possible to get all the way to Stroud and the River Severn.

Halfpenny bridge and the old toll house, the Riverside pub is seen through the arch.

The Roundhouse marks the end of the navigable Thames for powered craft.

Looking back downstream to Lechlade 

Abutment of the bridge that spanned the river near the old Inglesham lock.

After a couple of century's of politicians talking about a proposal to link the Thames and Severn rivers, the Thames & Severn canal opened in 1789. The 'Times' described the canal as 'the Greatest project attained by inland navigation', the canal became more or less derelict in the 1930's but is under restoration by the Cotswold Canal Trust

In the evening we had a chinese meal, we were greeted enthusiastically by the diminutive proprietor of the small four tabled establishment. We had an excellent meal and after had a glass of ale for the skippers and cider for the ladies at the Trout on the way home.

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