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Tours 2000, BCN, Severn Estuary, K&A and River Wey

31 - Sunday 30th July - Hamstead Lock to Woolhampton. Kennet and Avon Canal. 

Weather HOT and sticky. Sun most of day.

Started from our peaceful mooring above Hamstead lock at 8.50, no one had been past us either way. Uneventful trip to Newbury, shared with no one. At Guyer's Lock, just below the new Newbury Bypass Bridge (why has it sill got high barbed wire fences round it!), the style of lock changes, with boat sinking top gate paddles only. (Why has BW not locked all these up!) Newbury was a bit busy, being the waterways festival, hot and a Sunday. We unintentionally pushed in front of a rubber boat, who worked the West Mills swing bridge. There was a high gongoozler quotient at Newbury Lock and a private boat had pushed in front of a hire boat waiting beyond the Town bridge. Linda was steering, the rubber boat declined to enter the lock with us. On the way out Linda smacked the stern of the boat waiting below the lock. They were dangling on their bow rope with their stern out in the channel. As many people will know, this is the channel, due to the new stupid piled towpath lump, sticking out above the bridge. As a result of Linda's spirited departure we did not come unstuck through the Town Bridge. 
The waterways festival was in full swing just below the low temporary bridge. Near Greenham Bridge a guy stuck his head out of an unidentified ex - working boat. He said that he had been away for a week, but had been following our exploits!!!! Neil pretended to duck inside, saying we must be becoming infamous! This we subsequently found out to be Simon Robinson and the Town Class motor "Bristol". The festival was very compact and there was still mooring available not far down stream. Between Ham Lock and Bulls Lock there was meant to have been a recent mini breach, we could not see any trace of it. Widemead Lock has shed some of it's brick lining and there is a nasty shelf just below water level. We moored up for lunch (12.20) under a tree half way between Widemead Lock and Long Cut Swing Bridge. It was now unbearably hot and we sat on the towpath a rare sight using our 5 GBP Homebase chairs. A family swimming trip was narrowly averted by a few clouds! Lunch stop was terminated by a lock water shock wave telling us that there was an approaching boat. 
Neil stayed off and did Long Cut Swing Bridge for both boats. We shared with this boat until Midgham Lock, where we just caught Moonshadow closing the gates. They let us in and Neil remarked what a wonderful colour scheme their boat was. This was because it was virtually the same as Earnest, without the red handrails. The side panels were indeed found to be Masons Atlantic Blue. They were in the middle of a repaint, the grey the other side had been replaced by cream. We shared with them until just above Woolhampton Lock. They said did we not want to join in the fun below? We said we did not want to become a Sunday afternoon gongoozler casualty! We watched Moonshadow do the best attempt of riding the input of the Kennet below the lock and getting round the sharp bend through Woolhampton Swing Bridge. The other knack that nobody else had this afternoon (as you can see we became Woolhampton Bridge keepers to the afflicted and gongoozlers!) was to flick the stern in just beyond the bridge and stop to pick up crew. They got this off to perfection. We have just watched a very professional looking crew (Belonging to the "local" trust and with walkie talkies) do a spirited attempt, but still not stop properly, off they sailed, well past the lay-by. The last attempt was dammed near perfect. An old couple just slid through on tick-over and stopped perfectly!


Leaving Hamstead Lock No 81. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Below Hamstead Lock the River Kennet comes in to the canal course. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The majority of the Kennet water soon passes out here. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The shallow wide before Benham Lock No 82. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Benham Lock No 82. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back at Benham Bridge No 66 and Benham Lock No 82. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Pickletimber Railway Bridge No 65. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Higg's Lock No 83. The new Newbury By-pass Bridge No 64A beyond. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Leaving Higg's Lock No 83. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Under Newbury By-pass Bridge No 64A. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Guyer's Lock No 84. The first with top gate paddles. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Guyer's Lock No 84. Newbury By-pass Bridge in the distance. Kennet and Avon Canal.

One of many wasp nest's seen this year in lock gates! Kennet and Avon Canal.

Guyer's Lock No 84 and Enborne Bridge No64. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Kennet comes in from the left, just above Northcroft Footbridge No 63. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Northcroft Footbridge No 63. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Northcroft Footbridge No 63. Newbury. Note the old GWR era rail buffers. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Roadrunner from Albuquerque. This now American owed Narrowboat was 40 degrees 55 south. This was the Kiwi owned Narrowboat that we had the fraught Thames tideway trip with in August 1996. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

West Mills Swing Bridge No 62 is worked for us by the rubber boat crew. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Leaving West Mills Swing Bridge No 62. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Newbury Lock No 85. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Newbury Lock No 85. The Kennet comes out from the left, just before Newbury Bridge No 60. Notice the dangerous, recently placed piling / towpath just before the bridge. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Waiting for the rubber boat, which declined to share the lock with us. Newbury Lock No 85. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Stupidly placed boat waiting to come up. They should have shoved off to the other bank. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Even though Linda came out a bit smartish, there was the inevitable "boing!" Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Parkway Temporary Bridge. This bridge erected in the Second World War is finally about to be raised a couple of feet. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Newbury Wharf. The waterways festival was in full swing. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Newbury Wharf. Kennet and Avon Canal.

NB Bristol. Town Class motor owned by newsgroup poster Simon Robinson. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Another shot of NB Bristol and Simon, who spotted us, as he had been following the newsgroup trip reports! Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Greenham Bridge No 56. Newbury. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Reading Marine hire boat about to go "Boing!" Kennet and Avon Canal.

Kennet and Avon Canal.

Greenham Lock No 86. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Greenham Lock No 86. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Greenham Lock No 86. Newbury Boat Co is up the weir stream to the right of image. Kennet and Avon Canal.

The new bridge works for replacement Whitehouse Roving Bridge No53. It appears a new by-weir is also to be created. Kennet and Avon Canal.

A week ago the by weir was prematurely tried out as these flimsy piles gave way! Kennet and Avon Canal.

Kennet and Avon Canal.

Newbury Boat Co long term moorings, just above Ham Lock. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Part of the River Kennet branches off before Ham Lock No 87. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Ham Lock No 87. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Ham Lock No 87. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking down towards Ham Bridge No 50. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Looking back to Ham Bridge No 50. Kennet and Avon Canal.

Kennet and Avon Canal.

Rest Of Images


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