Sunday, 23 June 2013

weekend in Wooten Wawen


An early start on Saturday...yet we did not want to be in a queue going up the 16 locks out of Stratford.

First we had to turn in the basin.   Geoff was designated photographer with Barney assisting.  Luckily there is plenty of room to turn so despite the strong wind blowing I did not disgrace myself in front of the unexpected audience....mostly men.....why they were all up at 7.30 is a mystery!!

Leda the swan guides me out.....
As we rose in the first lock two more boats came up behind, it was obviously early morning for everyone.......however we would only have the advantage for the first 4 locks as our aim was to be at Valley Cruisers at 8,30 as soon as they opened to fill up with fuel and empty the loos.   We had called them on the way down and been assured by a very friendly gentleman that we were welcome to come for whatever we needed... and that we could declare our own split on fuel.
Our timing was spot on and we pulled up on the dot of 8.30 only to be greeted by a less than friendly man who said we could not have fuel as it was changeover day!!!   Maybe we should have thought of that......
He did say they might be able to do it after 9 o clock when they had dealt with some of the boats and when we said that was OK and where would they like us to wait we were told to go over the other side of the canal (in the bushes and nettles!)  We ignored that and tied up to one of their boats and prepared to wait patiently.   Miraculously he appeared about 5 mins later (it was obviously the easiest way to get rid of us) and filled us up.   However when paying he said he would only do 60/40 and there seemed no point in arguing at that point.......
We carried on our way behind one of the other boats.   After a few locks we met people coming down so it was all quite painless and indeed a pleasant run.   Even the strong by-washes at some of the locks did not cause much of a problem.
The weather was even reasonably kind to us apart from the strongish wind.   The only time it really caused a problem was going over the Edstone Aqueduct.  This is the longest Aqueduct in England ( Note I do not say UK) Under normal circumstances I am not keen on these things, (although they are not as bad a tunnels) but with today's wind I was most unimpressed.   I spent the entire crossing in the cockpit with Geoff (to give him support) but with my eyes closed and head down.......he moaned that I could have been taking a video of us crossing!!
One more lock and one more small aqueduct and we were in Wooten Wawen, our destination for the weekend.

Total distance:6.85 miles 
Elapsed time:5h55m18s 
Average speed:1.16 mph (4.03 lock/mph) 


The village has a large Saxon church (730AD) which we attended for the 11 o'clock service on Sunday.
A warm welcome from the curate who was taking the service and several of the congregation.   They had a large choir and a good organist so the singing was good.

Geoff viewing their display of Church History
The choir stalls on the side
The Aqueduct here is much smaller than the Edstone but still quite a grand affair.
Seen from the road beneath
In October this year they will be celebrating its centenary
After church we went to the Navigation Inn for Sunday lunch which was the best value for money we have had in a long time.   £11.95 for 3 courses + coffee and the food was home cooked and delicious......highly recommended.   They had homemade steamed syrup sponge on the menu which is one of my favourites so I was unable to move for the rest of the day!!

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