Sunday, 26 May 2013

Turf sided lock and our first K&A swing bridge.

The Cunning Man at Burghfield. Excellent food, excellent beer and friendly staff, what more could one ask?
We had heard nothing from C&RT about the fallen tree so yesterday three boats crews got together and attacked it ourselves, cleared enough to ease a boat through if you kept tight to the towpath.

As we had already decided to lunch at the Cunning Man we stayed put and as I enjoyed my  postprandial somnolence Jill took this photo' of a pair of mandarins.
After our obligatory fry up this morning, Sunday brekkers being sacrosanct, we set off for a gentle cruise, no rush or lock counting.

Just a meander past flower bedecked water meadows on a morning of glorious sunshine.

Second lock of the day was Garston Lock, one of the two turf sided locks left on the K&A. I had big plans for lots of photo's of it, but there was a boat waiting to come down and they had opened the bottom gate for us, so it was rather more hurried than I would have liked and the camera got left on the shelf. Just managed the one as we departed. "Turf" sided is a gross misnomer, anything less like turf would be hard to imagine, the sloping sides are covered in rampant weeds, not a blade of grass in sight.

Once through Theale Swing Bridge, Jill caught five cars as she swung it, plus a cyclist and a jogger, we moored opposite the remains of

Shenfield Mill.
It is but a short stroll from here to Theale, once a major stop on the Bristol to London road but now bypassed by the A4.

There is a handy Co-op here as well as four pubs and more takeaways' and sandwich shops than you can shake a stick at. Having topped up our milk supply and enjoyed a pint of St. Austell brewery's Tribute in The Crown we returned to the boat, passing a sign that seems to be seriously taking the mick, considering the weather we've been having.

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

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