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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Bancroft basin

This map was taken from Google Earth. I don't know when this picture was taken of Bancroft Basin, but it sure aint as empty as that now! Of course we had no idea what to expect at the time.  For all we knew it could have been completely full but we lived in hopes that we would find a mooring. After leaving Wooten in the early hours again,( not the trains waking us this time but sheep!) and having breakfast on the go, Bearley lock soon came into view followed not long after by Edstone Aqueduct.

Edstone Aqueduct

Jade at Bearley lock
The 3 miles of very pleasant and rural lock free cruising after the lock was extremely pleasant especially as no rain was on the forecast for today. Some of the bridges were a bit challenging, though. Most are no more then a locks width, which holds no problems normally, but a few throw you off your stride by being slightly off set at an angle.

Once we reached Wilmote top lock we had another 16 locks to do before reaching Bancroft Basin and unfortunately the majority were against us. Still the day was sunny and warm ( makes a change ) and having such an early start meant we could take our time. ( Didn't want to get to Stratford to early in case no one had left the moorings yet.)

Wilmcote flight of  3

Robin watching keenly at our locking efforts.

Wilmcote flight of  5

This alien creature was clinging on to the side of the lock wall.

I wonder what this plant is. Looks like rhubarb. Definitely not Gunnera  It was growing wild along the undergrowth along the towpath.
Nearing Stratford, 3 boats came towards us. Fantastic, we thought! Maybe our luck would be in after all and we would get a mooring in Bancroft basin. We had been told previously that the basin was chocka and we would struggle to find a mooring. Well our luck did hold because 2 moorings were free and with a nifty bit of reversing by Ian, gently slipped the boat between the pontoons. The place looked totally different from 20 years ago. Then the moorings were round the perimeter only. My one vivid memory, all those years ago, was of hiring a boat and the local youths releasing all the bow and stern ropes from around a dozen boats in the early hours of the morning. We only woke up when we started bumping into all the other boats cast adrift. It took ages to sort all of us out especially as some boaters were still asleep and seemed totally oblivious to it all!. Oh happy days!!

Mooring on the end potoon

Avon looking tranquil but the flood gauge showed the river to be in the amber and there was still quite a flow downstream.

Royal Shakespeare Theater
 Some of the views around Stratford.

48 hours is the allotted time we can spend on this mooring. As we fancy staying for a lot longer we may move to the visitor moorings outside the basin. Having walked to have a look at them, there doesn't appear to be any sign stating how long we can stay.


Adam said...

Depending on the state of the river, you could drop down the lock and moor opposite the theatre. You can get an "excursion" licence, which means you have to return to way you came -- but that would be fine if you just wanted to moor in Stratford. I seem to remember them being not too expensive. The floating office in the basin would be able to give you the details (and indeed sell you one).

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Adam
We did debate whether to go onto the river especially as someone happened to mention it would only cost us £5. We thought that was good value especially as a days cruise on the river would be great. After inquiring at the floating office we were informed it was £5 to moor for the night or £10 to stay on the river for the day. I don't think we will bother this time. I would rather get a weeks license and pay £50.

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