Sunday, 7 June 2015

Change of Plan

Another walk around Lechlade yesterday evening and this time it included St John’s Lock where we were able to dispose of our rubbish.  The walk was a circuit which terminated back in Lechlade where I noticed several glass window panes that had the original circles created by the glass blower.


Window glass would have been very expensive (hand made) when this pane was made.  At one point the government of the day imposed a window tax, the consequences of which can sometimes still be seen where there is a window frame which is bricked up.  The glass blower would manufacture a rondel (disc) which would then be cut to produce a square or rectangle, hence the circles in the glass.  By the end of the 18th century a technique known as cylinders was developed.  The cylinders were hand blown and then cut and flattened. 

Our nosey bovine neighbours were back at 5am this morning and one of them attempted to nick our boat pole. They appear to complete a circuit of the field three times daily and on each occasion either lick the boat paint or chew the mooring ropes.  They have a harsh tongue which can reputedly strip paint.  We had a brief boaters meeting and decided to leave Lechlade. I slipped into the village to buy some bread and then we headed downstream.

Old Father Thames just keeps lazing around beside St John’s Lock.

old father thamesThe statue was commissioned in 1854 for the Great Exhibition grounds (the Crystal Palace) in Hyde Park.  After the Crystal Palace burned down in 1936 it was moved to the traditional source of the River Thames at Thames Head.  However it was vandalised and so later moved again to its current location in 1974.

I just had to take a photo of this poster at St John’s Lock.

lockie sign

The lock keeper at Grafton Lock informed me he was a blog reader.  It was such a surprise I failed to ask his name (if you read this please leave a comment).  He told me he’s looking for a narrowboat and has some specific requirements.  We wish him luck in finding the boat he wants at a price he can afford.

We were also told there were three B52 bombers at RAF Brize Norton.  So it wasn’t one aircraft doing circuits.  I wonder if they are planning to spoil someone’s breakfast in Syria or Iraq?

We started meeting small electric and paddle powered boats above Radcot.  Obviously families were enjoying the start of summer.

electric boatpaddler

The top half of the river between Oxford and Lechlade is very twisty with some rather tight bends.  We had our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t meet a plastic cruiser on one of the tight blind corners.  Fortunately that didn’t happen, despite the large number of cruisers going upstream.

Jan took the following photo for her mother.

bournemouth Yes, they both come from Bournemouth!

We assume Oxford Cruisers has been purchased by Anglo-Welsh.  It seems many of the smaller hire boat companies are being purchased by the major players.

oxford cruisers

One of the lock keepers told us very few of the hire boats head upstream towards Lechlade. 

At the end of a long day (for us) we are back on the mooring above Eynsham Lock, where we were four days ago.  The plan is to reach Oxford tomorrow in time for a Sunday roast lunch.


Sue said...

Those bloomin' cows are murder. I dare not moor there in the spring/summer or they would eat all my flowers along with boat poles and the like!!

There is a mooring on the other side, a grassy bit that sort of belongs to the pub up in the village.. A pint there could have secured your mooring for a few days

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Sue,

We hope Vic is being a good patient!

Yes, the pub mooring looked nice..... but it was occuppied! 😡

Still, it was good to look around and tick Lechlade off the "to see" list