Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Long and Busy Day

We had pulled pins before 9 this morning and with no locks for a while it was a good opportunity to get a few jobs done inside.
By the time we got to the services at Dundas, I'd almost finished sweeping the floor all through the cabin.  With all the necessary things emptied, we got going again and I returned to do the dusting.
The trees are noticeably greener than when we came through about 8 days ago.

We stopped at Bradford-on-Avon, cos we had promised ourselves a Boatman's Breakfast at the Lock Inn.
And afterwards we went to look for the Saxon Church.  On the way we passed this row of weavers' cottages, with workrooms at the top, very similar to the ones we've seen in Yorkshire.

We loved this little alley and the stone cottages.

The Saxon church is Bradford-on-Avon's oldest building, it is one of the most complete Saxon buildings still standing.

It is a very simple style chapel and apparently from the early 11th century.
For centuries the Saxon church was lost, hidden behind buildings of various other establishments. It was used in 1715 as an 'ossuary', a skull and bone house, and in the 1800's as a free school for boys. It was also used as cottages, you can still see the blackening on the nave walls from the kitchen fire.

When we set off through Bradford lock, it was clear we had a problem.  Loads of smoke was billowing from the exhaust.  So we had to tie up as soon as we could, once out of the lock.
Ian thought he knew what the problem was. He had ordered a new push rod for one of the valves in the engine, which we were going to pick up today from an address in Hilperton.
We needed it now! Fortunately Hilperton was not too far away, just about 2 1/2 miles along the towpath.
It was a hot walk, we found Stella's house easily, it backs onto the canal.  We found Stella through the BCF and she was happy to have the parcel delivered to her home ready for us to pick up on the way past.

With the walk back and time to fit the new rods, we lost about 3 hours this afternoon.
But I also fitted in bathroom cleaning and some brass polishing.

We were glad we had had that big breakfast now, it kept us going, and we would be able to tackle the locks and swing bridges ahead and have a late dinner when we eventually stopped.

Mrs Swan on her nest
Mrs Moorhen next door

With the dinner in the oven, we took turns with the locks and bridges to Sells Green, enjoying being out in the sunshine and finally banging pegs in at 8pm.

So, a busy day is a happy day as Just William was often told.

13 miles, 8 locks, 6 bridges

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