Ten Bob Note


Monday 29th December 2008

Location: Claydon, Oxfordshire, Oxford Canal

Today: 8 miles, 0 locks. Total distance: 1934 miles.  Total locks: 1319

A very cold night last night, not due to the fact that the temperature outside was hovering around 1 degree C, more to do with the strong and blustery easterly wind. I was glad of my hot water bottle.

Woke up to another nice dry and cold day today so decided to head on towards Banbury.

The log pile on the roof has been dwindling rapidly and I have been on the lookout for fallen trees for the last few weeks or so. Struck lucky today, just happened to catch a glimpse of what looked like a freshly fallen tree in some woods as I was passing by. Reversed back, moored up and went to investigate. The tree that I had spied was totally rotten but a little deeper into the woods I found a large fallen Ash tree – a late Xmas present (photos below). Back to the boat, out with the chainsaw and 45 minutes later all the good sections of the tree were on the roof. I will probably stay on here in Claydon tomorrow to cut it all up and chop it into logs. A real nice find.

Crossed the border today, now in Oxfordshire.

Current Mooring

Long straight cutting, part of it used to be Fenny Compton tunnel

Look at this, a fallen Ash tree - Xmas has come all over again!!!

I felt that I just had to clear it all up.....Only the rotten section is left

These will make lovely logs - after a bit of work!!

Tuesday 30th

A busy day today, just got sat down for the first time since early morning.

Walked to the shop in Cropredy to buy some milk than on a bit to see what the mooring situation was like.

Graham and Jane were on nb Alnwick at their home mooring so I stopped and had a chat. John appeared off nb Epiphany as they were moored in front of Alnwick. Ended up chatting for a good half hour before Mark turned up on nb Dusty (the coal boat) so I left them all too it while they bought their coal and diesel etc.

Walked back to the boat, all in all, just over 6 miles round trip and it was a beautiful morning for walking.

Had a quick bowl of soup then it was out with the chainsaw and axe. It took almost three hours to cut and chop the wood. The tree had started to season and there were lots of knots in it, all of which made the going very hard work. Anyway, it is all done now and the roof is back to full log capacity. Archie will be nice and warm for the next few months or so now, he sat and watched me chop every single log!!

Claydon Top Lock

Early morning

Strange boat, almost looks like a trip boat ??

Has seen better days

Cropredy Lock

nb Alnwick on home mooring, nb Epiphany is moored in front

Archie with his coat on watching me work, it's a very cold day

This is what a 30' Ash tree looks like cut into rings

All split and on the roof, it took nearly 3 hours!!

Tow path all cleaned up after cutting and chopping

Sunset through the window at 15:45

Wednesday 31st

A very cold night last night, it was below zero by 17:00 and fell to at least minus two during the night.

The canal was iced over this morning and the first boat through (nb Summer Wine from Aynho) didn’t appear until well gone 10:00. They didn’t want to be breaking ice but had no choice as they needed to get back to Aynho due to work commitments. After Summer Wine went through, half a dozen other boats soon passed by, they had obviously been waiting for someone to be first to break the ice.

Went for a round trip walk with Archie  through Claydon village. It’s a lovely old village with a nice little church, parts of which date back to before the 12th century. The church was open so I went in for a look around – lovely – photos below.

There is a public footpath that runs from the northern end of Claydon village, across the fields and the canal to Lower Boddington village. The path is well signposted in Claydon village and is clearly shown on the ordnance survey maps. Unfortunately, it is not possible to get onto the path from the canal as the farmer has blocked off access to the path from the canal bridge with loads of barbed wire!! Nice farmer – not…. The path can clearly be seen on this map, it passes right over the bridge just before Claydon top lock.

Church of St James the Great - Claydon - a lovely old church - bits date back to the 12th C

A cold day today

Around Claydon village

All Material Copyright © 2010 Ernie Williams