Abingdon (River Thames) – Wednesday 3rd May
A cold, windy day – not pleasant.
I took this photo last night.
Benson, Days and Clifton Locks all came and went in a blur! Richard insisted that I stay down in the warm while he braved the cold with several layers on! I would have been quite happy to either stay in Wallingford or stop somewhere else but he decided that he would rather be in Abingdon if it’s going to be cold. Not sure I really understand his logic as it is forecasted to be warmer and less wind tomorrow - but I’ll go along with it. Culham Lock was interesting though. It was on self-service and being operated by a lady who didn’t seem to know what she was doing. After reading the instructions she pressed the button to open the sluices. The trouble was that at that moment the Lockie came back from lunch and must have switched the power from self-service to manual as the sluices shot up and the water torrented out into the lock. He yelled at the lady to let go of the button which, thank goodness, she did. Fortunately both Mary H and the motor cruiser were at the back of the lock. If there had been a boat at the front of the lock it could have been very nasty.
I spoke to the Lock Keeper at Days Lock about the mooring above the lock. I had heard that there is a big dispute between the new landowner and the locals. The Lockie said that you can moor there and you may or may not get charged but there is now no way out of the field save by climbing a 5-bar gate. Apparently, locals have upset the new land owner by not clearing up after their dogs and not keeping them under control. It would appear that one ewe had suffered mauling to the face and another had lambed early when two dogs were allowed by their owners to run free beyond designated public footpaths. The Friends of Dorchester and Little Wittenham Open Spaces have said “As the weather improves the boating community are contacting us in dismay about the loss of mooring at a very popular and much loved location. We don't have a definitive answer about mooring, save to report the unpleasant exchanges that have occurred since October when the farm changed hands. Certainly, the new barbed wire fencing at Days Lock makes no provision for boats.” What I will say is that the new owner is a lawyer so I very much doubt if the locals or boaters will win this one ☹ This article was in The Times on March 25th
As we approached Abingdon we were on the lookout for No Problem XL with Sue and Vic. We hadn’t seen the new boat before but she looks just like an extra-large version of NB No Problem! We gave them a wave and then went on to Abingdon Meadow where we moored up. Sue popped up to say hello and we arranged to go for a meal at the Nags Head later. We met up about 6pm and had a lovely evening – good food and excellent company 😊 However, I can’t believe that two bloggers had a meal together and neither took a photo of people only food!