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Saturday 18 May 2024

A Damascene Conversion, maybe.

 We didn't have too far to go today again, so we had an extra 15 minutes in bed. There were several boats passing in both directions before we left. We went to see if the injured from yesterday was feeling better. It seems that they hadn't returned, or they were having an even longer lay-in. I do hope everything went okay.

When we did leave we were lucky as there was nothing moving for us.

That is until the toll house when this day boat pulled out in front of us. They were weaving about and going slowly so we just pottered along well astern.

Just before the junction is this notice reminding boaters that the Oxford canal to the north is for narrow boats. I hadn't realised that Wide beams were able to go to Dunchurch Pools and Barby Moorings though.

Again we were lucky as there was no traffic as we approached the junction and we turned left towards Napton. The day boat had done so too but I think they realised that they wouldn't get to the Folly at Napton and back if they didn't crack on and we didn't see them again.

The junction house is a large building but hardly looks lived in, but I'm sure it is. It would make a gongoozlers paradise, or a holiday cottage with plenty of opportunity to watch the fun at the junction.

We saw that a wide beam was making his way to Braunston so we pulled over and let him past. I'm not sure what fun you have moving these wide beams on these canals. I'm sure they are great to live aboard or on rivers perhaps, but it must be a little nerve wracking moving about. Not for me anyway.

This looks like it should be a canal warehouse and wharf but I think it is a private spot as the wharf at Lower Shuckburgh is further along.

St John the Baptist Church in the village looks interesting but is new having being built in 1864. However it does look  worth a visit one day.

Just by the main road bridge 107 was the site of the old Shuckburgh Wharf and these old buildings are
part of the wharf buildings.

In this old map extract of 1885 you can see that there were lime kilns at one time. The brick building in the forefront of the photo above is the pink one on the left of the three in this extract. WM stands for weighing machine. It seems that in 1827 there was coal and lime wharf, coal yard, store house, a granary and stables on the site. Timber form the surrounding land was offered for sale here too.

The site has developed somewhat in this 1923 map extract. It is now being run as a timber merchants. In 1894 it was up for auction, with all equipment as a timber merchant and wheelwrights. Then in 1917 it was auctioned once again again as a timber merchant, but this time it was mainly the equipment. It was Travis And Arnold who were selling up. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the last time it was used commercially. 

We were soon at the junction and turned under to head towards Calcutt Locks.

The stone crop, I think, gives a lovely splash of colour to this dull coloured bridge.

We saw another boat follow us to the locks so we had a buddy for the last three. They had been to the Thames and were just getting back to Calcutt Marina. We were heading back a day early as there would be no fuel etc at Ventnor this Sunday, and I like to leave the boat topped up. It also gave me time to do some jobs as the weather was so nice.

These are the Ventnor swans and cygnets.

I did some sanding of the 'tunnel rash' we received in Bosworth tunnel and painted up other bits that we had already done. Then as I was waiting for stuff to dry I dug out a present I had given my self over winter, a polishing machine. Well, I may be converted! What would have taken me hours and leave me shattered only took an hour or so. It may mean that I might get round to polishing the boat twice this year, and will mean that I will have to buy more polish! It looks better though.

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