Happy Birthday Gordon

It was Gordon’s birthday yesterday – for a month now he’ll be two years older than me – whoopee.

GordBirthdayWe set off at 8am (no lie in and breakfast in bed for poor Gord) so that we could get to Woolhampton for 10 o’clock to pick up friends Bob and Chris who were joining us for a trip to Theale. It was an absolutely glorious day – lovely relaxed cruising on this beautiful canal….

PrettyDay…that is until you get to Woolhampton Lock and swing bridge. The Kennet makes a rather lively entrance to the canal at the bottom of the lock and it’s quite a palaver to make sure that you exit the lock and actually go through the bridge rather than hitting it! You need to exit the lock at full speed with the swing bridge already open.


You can see the turbulence of the water below the lock and the number of tyres on the moored boat shows how likely it is to be hit. Not sure I’d like to moor on that spot.


Phew! Gordon successfully negotiates the hazard and brings the boat towards the bridge

The Rowbarge pub is situated by the bridge and has a large garden – I imagine much entertainment has been provided to pub customers by unsuspecting hire boats coming to grief here!

Just after the bridge we were joined by Bob & Chris who came bearing wine – always a welcome offering!

Bob&ChrisArriveWe soon put them to work.





The compulsory poop deck shot

We had a slight hitch at Tyle Mill swing bridge – I didn’t do anything wrong – it just broke itself – honest! I opened it, let the boat through but unfortunately it wouldn’t close properly so the barriers remained down leaving the road completely blocked. It’s a fairly busy road so it didn’t take long for traffic to build up. From the reaction of the drivers this is not an uncommon occurrence.

BrokenBridgeWe phoned CRT to report it but couldn’t move on as our key was stuck in the lock and couldn’t be removed until the bridge was opened. No problem – when in doubt eat and drink. We used the break to have lunch.

I hope Bob and Chris enjoyed their day, despite the bridge breaking incident. We certainly enjoyed having them aboard.

ByeByeBobChrisWe’re having a ‘rest’ day in Theale today to give me a chance to work on some glass and to give Gordon a chance to cut up some of the wood we’ve managed to accumulate on this section of the K & A – supplies are building up nicely for the winter. Onwards tomorrow to Reading – the Thames is calling.





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2 Responses to Happy Birthday Gordon

  1. Sue Ellery says:

    Spot – I want to see a map of your travels please – with dates etc… essential… get on it!

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