There appeared to be a mix up in our starting time this morning. We were all ready at 10am but there was no sign of life next door until 11am.
|Shenfield Mill from the front (taken from Rightmove)|
Opposite the moorings at Theale is a beautiful old house which is having a lot of work done on it. Research shows that it used to belong to Kate Bush and was on the market last year for £3.5m! It looks as if the new people are rebuilding the old mill as well – I shall look forward to coming back this way in the spring and seeing how things have moved on – probably find there is a 6 foot fence round it by then!
|Shenfield Mill from the canal|
After Sulhamstead Lock there is a great deal of bank work going on with two large C&RT boats but not a person to be seen at 11.30 on a Monday morning! They are putting those horrid coir sausages down which I know will look nice – eventually. However I always think they look so horrid and we once got one caught round the prop and had to get RCR out to free it.
We stopped at Tyle Mill to use the services and then ascended the lock. I realised that Autumn is now here as I looked back down the canal. The leaves are changing colour and the water is covered with fallen ones. Being on the Thames I hadn’t realised how advanced the season is as you just don’t get the same amount of trees.
|Tyle Mill Lock|
At Padworth Lock we met a hire boat coming down the lock backwards! The hire company had suggested that they do this and wind at the bottom to save time. Great – but these people were novices and winded the boat like a car – a 12 point turn!
At Aldermaston lock Diane and I let the men do the hard work – Richard says that the bottom gates are getting worse and worse. However C&RT are closing the lock for 4 weeks in January/February so hopefully when we come back this way in the Spring there will be nice new gates! They are also going to be working on Bulls and Fobney locks during the winter.
|Woolhampton Swing Bridge|
The swing bridge and lock at Woolhampton were nice and easy today. We picked up another boat at the bridge who had already prepared the lock so I operated the swing bridge and all three boats went through. Daisy Chain had to wait to use the lock but there was very little flow coming out of the Kennet where it joins the canal below the lock so there was no problem.
|Woolhampton lock and moorings|
The three boats took the last three spaces on the moorings. Steve said that the other boats that are moored here were there when they came past two weeks ago. He also said that the wide beam has been here for months. C&RT – where are you??
We went to the Rowbarge for dinner to celebrate Steve’s birthday and lament our last night on the water. I had a rump steak and it was one of the best I have ever had. It was a lovely evening though rather sad in a way.