|Moored across the river from Bidford Boats|
Our first and our last. After suffering all the mishaps and arguments that befall most newbie hireboaters we vowed 'never again' and spent all our other family holidays on land. Until we eventually bought a little plastic cruiser and edged slowly back towards narrowboating.
|The curious steel framed structure of the Avon's first lock|
The Upper Avon from Evesham up to Stratford, like the Stratford Canal, was in utter disrepair fifty years ago and its restoration was spearheaded by the same local architect and boater, David Hutchings, who had fought to get the canal back open.
|Memorial at the lock to the man who led restoration|
Locks were rebuilt in weeks rather than months, generally using volunteers from local prisons and borstals as well as enthusiasts. Having not been properly navigable since 1870, it was back in service in five years.
It certainly doesn't look like a bodged-together waterway these days. Far from it: the wide locks are impeccably maintained and there lots of decent, flood-proof moorings. All credit to the non-profit making Avon Navigation Trust that runs it and an object lesson to C&RT perhaps.
|Binton Bridges, one of many pretty spots on the river|
For the first time on a river we got firmly stuck midstream going into the top gates of a lock and had to be pulled off by another boat. The river's so low it's off the bottom of the depth scale. Hardly surprising, given the weather. Yesterday was another scorcher. We moored at the remote Pilgrim Lock and Vicky hung the washing out between the floodproof posts to dry in the sun. (Incidentally, hidden behind trees here are a water and elsan points since the spot is, presumably, at times a caravan site.)
|A sunny afternoon, drying washing on the mooring posts|
|Major structural repairs in progress on Bidford's bridge|
|The sleepy hollow that was Bidford today|