Thursday, 10 July 2014

A Very Much Nicer Day.

Thursday 10th July, 2014 at Knowle.
A very much nicer day in two respects: The weather, which was forecast to rain all day, turned out to be bright sunshine all day (hooray!) and the countryside became green and peaceful again (double hooray!!).
M thought that it would be a good idea to do a wash, as it was a perfect drying day, bright and breezy. So, we had a very welcome, and very happy, quiet morning on board while the washing dried in the breeze.
There is a little Spar shop and Post Office very close to the canal bridge and we walked there just to buy some bacon for the dish that M was planning for dinner tonight. It was a well stocked and friendly shop that we will remember when we pass this way again. As you can see from the notice board, the locals call this village "Catney", it's full name being "Catherine-de-Barnes".
The washing soon dried in the lovely breeze, and with clean towels and undies neatly packed away, we set off on MM down towards Knowle, our pre-arranged meeting point for the Scout Group on Saturday.
At Knowle, the fun began. For once, the guide books were misleading. They indicated that there was mooring between Knowle Bridge and the top of the five Knowle locks - but it was impossible to moor there, as there was a boatyard opposite with boats doubled up - so no room there.
Therefore, we decided to reverse back through the Knowle Bridge and moor back on the other side.
We noticed that the bridge corners had metal posts, to protect the brickwork, and that the constant passage of the horses' tow ropes in olden days had worn grooves in the metal.
By this time R was on the bank, so M gently reversed MM through the bridge with R helping steer from the bank with the mooring ropes. M did an excellent job with R calling directions. All went well until we were in the narrow "bridge-'ole" (as the old boatmen used to call it). R jumped back on board and, shortly after, ran aground just as another boat approached the bridge. Much pushing and shoving with the pole (and some cursing) eventually got us back afloat, much to the amusement of two passing boats. We had to continue reversing for several hundred yards until we found a suitable mooring place.
After that, there was only one thing to do - to walk into Knowle for R to have a restorative Costa!
Knowle has some beautiful buildings and shops and we resolved to return tomorrow to spend more time exploring the village. We particularly liked the most polite, ecclesiastical notice outside the church!
Later, we were rewarded with a most spectacular evening sky.
Today: 3 miles, 0 Locks and 2.9 hours.
Trip: 57 miles, 33 Locks and 31.3 hours.

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