Since leaving Banbury we have not had a very good signal for posting our blog, until now. We have had a brilliant few days cruising down from Banbury stopping at Nell Bridge, Upper Heyford and the beautiful, peaceful, Kirtlington Quarry.
The expectant ewes were reclining in the maternity unit on the sunny slope below this ancient barn. We also saw a black swan among a group of white ones in a field, is this a rarity? We were impressed with all the work BW have done down the south Oxford Canal cutting all the overhanging trees and reeds back. The towpath has been repaired in many places and is well cut too. The locks and lift bridges were easy to manage too. We were glad to see that a lock has been fitted to lift Bridge 193 which is operated by a BW key. We moored near this last year and saw three young girls under 10ish lifting the bridge then running across it making it slam down. Their father was with them and allowed them to do it without seeing the danger of it or the damage it may have caused to the structure. Even when we pointed out the stupidity of it to him he wouldn’t see reason. Anyway this simple lock is a much cheaper solution than the expensive electronically operated lift bridge fitted at Thrupp. A consequence of some dimwit running up the beam and jumping off the end and breaking both his legs!
We passed Mill Farm with it’s fine collection of Morris minors and executive hen houses and into nearby Pigeons Lock. All the reeds that have been cut and fallen into the canal seem to have ended up here, so we had to clear them to get into the lock.
Adjacent to the lock stands the lovely Flights Mill a grade 2 listed Cotswold stone building dating from c1799. There are plans to generate electricity for the small community via an Archimedes Screw Micro Hydro scheme, driven by water from the River Cherwell. This is such a picturesque little area.