So last Thursday we set out from Stratford downstream as far as Bidford Grange Lock. We stopped here because we particularly wanted to get to see Welford on Avon. The problem with rivers is that you can't moor just anywhere, like on the canals, and sometimes the mooring is on the wrong side of the river with no bridge for miles.
|Stratford Trinity Lock has these beams over it to stop the lock collapsing in the soft terrain it is built in.|
|Binton Bridges is one of a number where you have to be particularly careful in a strong stream to avoid being swept into the bridge arch. On Thursday levels were low and we had no problems. Going downstream is worse because you have less control.|
|Here is our mooring above the lock. The high flood poles give you a good idea what can happen with this river!|
|We cycled back a few miles into Welford. Some parts of it are delightful.|
Welford's claim to fame is that it has the tallest maypole in Britain at 65 feet tall. It was originally made of wood but the present one is aluminium. And, yes, it is used at the annual fair.
Friday started with rain and we delayed our start. We came down a couple of locks into Bidford on Avon where we had lunch and looked around before cruising on to Harvington Lock:
|This is Bidford Bridge, another ancient structure. The arch for boats is indicated by the arrow and is, oddly, the lower one to the left, not the high arch in the middle.|
|We filled up with water at Bidford and took this shot looking along Leo and up the river to the bridge.|
This is a bit of fun at the Frog Inn by the bridge where we had lunch. In case you can't read the sign on the wall it says: "FROG PARKING ONLY, ALL OTHERS WILL BE TOAD". Well it tickled Ian anyway!
|Down below Marlcliff Lock the River Arrow joins the Avon. Though the main river was quite calm, the Arrow had a lot of water in it and the flow below the confluence was a lot stronger and made it tricky to steer round the bends.|
|As you approach Harvington Lock there is this long weir, part of whose length is protected by a walkway above it. More about this in a minute.|
|There is a large lock island at Harvington and an old mill there is largely overgrown.|
|However if you creep round the back you can peer inside what is an old water mill. I wouldn't dream of trying to go inside (even if it was permitted which it is not) as the building looks pretty unsafe.|
|Here you can see the drive wheels for the mill.|
|The first lock restored here was not a success and so it has been converted into a dry dock which you can hire from the owner. Ingenious!|
|Like Welford, Harvington has its share of fine timbered buildings.|
So, after a day staying where we were and an evening with its own excitement, we've come on downriver today through Evesham:
|We've seen this before but it continues to fascinate us. Here we have at least two families of goslings all looked after by a group of adults. It's like a school party of goslings.|
|Some of the weirs on this river are quite fierce. This picture is taken from the back of Leo leaving Chadbury Lock seen up the stream to the right.|