Ten Bob Note  

Monday 1st October 2007

Location: Lechlade, Gloucestershire, Thames

Today: 22 miles, 6 locks. Total distance: 641 miles.  Total locks: 452

Cool, started grey then turned wet. Good t-mobile GPRS reception here

Pulled the pins around 08:30 this morning and headed off towards Tadpole where we intended to moor and walk to the local village. The sky was grey but it was mild and dry.
Got to Tadpole and there was nowhere to moor so we pressed on. Late morning the rain started and it continued to rain all the way to Lechlade.

One huge disappointment with the Thames from Oxford to the upper limit at Lechlade is the total lack of usable moorings for narrow boats. Many of the mooring spots marked in the guides just don’t exist – this has been confirmed by the lock keepers. Not sure what the mooring situation is like below Oxford but we will find out in the not too distant future. It is a real shame as it would be nice to be able to moor up and explore some of the villages that are within walking distance of the river.

Arrived at Lechlade soaked through. As the rain had started as a light drizzle, I had not bothered changing into waterproofs. When the rain became much heavier, it was too late to get changed so ended up soaked. If we had been on the canals, I would just have moored up for the rest of the day but as there are next to no mooring on this stretch of the river, I just had to keep going.

We moored up close to the Half Penny bridge as advised by the lock keeper at St John’s Lock. The mooring is OK but the field is occupied by cows and it is like walking through a mine field trying to avoid the fresh cow pats. We miss the canal tow paths.

As it was such a long day, we decided to eat out. Due to the fact that we have not had a lot of success with pubs of late, we decided to try the local Indian restaurant. We were not disappointed, we had a very enjoyable meal and all in all, a very pleasant evening out.

The 240V Electrolux Travel Power system packed up around mid day. It provides up to 3.5kW of mains power while the engine is running. I use it mostly for charging the main batteries, the laptop, phones, torches, cameras etc. while we are moving. The 50Amp and 30Amp Sterling chargers running from the Electrolux do a much better job of charging the batteries than the 12v engine alternator does so I would like to get the Electrolux up and working again. The last time the system failed it turned out to be a broken brush in the mains alternator that I managed to repair. I will have to take a look at it tomorrow to see if I can find out what has gone wrong this time. The alternator is a real pain to take off as it is right at the bottom of the engine and the bolts are difficult to get to. All in all, we have not had a lot of luck with the Electrolux system, the alternator bracket has broken 3 times, the fan belt has broken once and the brushes have failed once – all in the space of 18 months.

Tuesday 2nd
Walked around the village this morning, it is not very big. There is a Londis store, post office, paper shop, chip shop, a lot of pubs and a few nick nack shops.

Checked the Electrolux system, a wire had come loose on the alternator, lucky it was nothing more serious.

Hoovered about two inches of water out of the bilges after sorting the alternator. Most of the water was collected yesterday during the heavy showers. Once again, had we been on the canals, I would have moored and put the pram hood up to keep the worst of the rain out of the bilges.

The weather has been grey but mild and dry today. If it is dry, we will be heading back east again tomorrow as we have been as far as it is possible to go up the Thames.

Current mooring - Lechlade church in background

Half Penny toll bridge in background

View from the window for half of the day

A couple of Geese on the river

Wall to wall plastic

New Bridge at Newbridge

The Round House. Upper navigable limit of the Thames for powered craft

In and around Lechlade

Half Penny toll bridge

Market area

Lechlade marina


Material Copyright © 2007 Ernie Williams
This page last modified on: 23 April, 2014 3:44 PM