Friday, 17 August 2012

Stratford, with Shakespearean references.

Yesterday we set off in the crepuscular light of dawn and at the first bridge found this reminder of the days when this canal was owned by the G.W.R. In this context a "Heavy Motor Car" actually referred to a traction engine or steam roller, this was the time before general use of the infernal combustion engines.

By the time we reached the Edstone aqueduct the clouds had wandered off and the sun was casting shadows across the fields.

It looked as if we might get a summers day.

By the time we were on the Wilmcote flight with Stratford in the distance the clouds were back and summer was going back into hiding. We were surprised to find all the locks full and the top gates open, we have now
discovered that if these locks are left full then the top gate swings gently open. We were delighted to find them all set for us but, and there is always a but, by lock 45 we were being accompanied down the flight by five locks worth of water, the pounds were brimming,

 it was overtopping the gates and the by-washes were so strong we could no longer transit between locks. So we sat for twenty minutes while the levels dropped to normal.

Lock 53 has a most unusual, probably unique, balance beam which makes it somewhat difficult to work, in fact it's a beast.

To cut a long story short we arrived in the basin, moored and went off for a stroll,

The Garrick, the oldest pub in Stratford, looked promising. It is what we would call in Devon a grockle trap, designed to drag in the tourists and it did that well, the majority of the punters were definitely from foreign climes but the sandwiches were splendid, the chips perfect and the beer very quaffable and it didn't hit the wallet too hard, just a flinch rather than a scream of pain.
Jill has booked seats for the local Am-Dram society, I think they call themselves the R.S.C. They are having a shot at "Much Ado About Nothing", I hope they make a half decent fist of it.
For the cultured among you here is a piece of poetry with Shakespearean connection:

I acted so tragic, the house rose like magic,
The audience yelled,"Your sublime".
They made me a present of Mornington Crescent, 
They threw it a brick at a time.
Someone threw a fender which caught me a bender,
I hoisted a white flag and tried to surrender.
They booed me, they jeered me,
They damn near stoned me to death.
They threw eggs and potatoes, half bricks and tomatoes,
The night I appeared as Macbeth.

Watch this space.............

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