|A narrowboat struggles to untangle a rope round the prop|
It was easy cruising on a generally wide and smoothly flowing river but there was something of interest at each lock. At the first, Chadbury, we discovered narrowboat Cider with Rosie stuck just outside the bottom gates with a rope wound round the prop.
We patiently waited in the lock while they tried to free it, wondering why they didn't move across to the landing stage to do the job. Eventually they realised it wasn't going to be a quick job and we helped them pull the boat across.
The previous day, out on a cruise-about with friends, we'd come the same way and been helped through the next lock, Fladbury, by Avon Navigation Trust volunteers who were collecting cash for the Trust at the same time. Good idea.
|Three's a crowd - and there's another round the bend|
It was a long, east run from here down past the handsome houses of Cropthorne straggling high above the southern bank, then a rather bleak stretch between flood banks before coming into open country again. It was here we came upon another narrowboat trying to rescue a sheep which had got itself in the river (why do farmers not put some electric fencing up along their banks as sheep regularly fall in while stretching for tasty nibbles?). Shortly afterwards, historic boats Thea and Owl passed us heading upstream.
|An odd shaped lock at the oddly named Wyre Piddle|
Pershore's Abbey tower had been in view for a while now and there was a good length of moorings along the side of the recreation ground, though we couldn't get Harry's deep stern into the edge.
|Elegant Georgian buildings in elegant Pershore|
|Just a portion of the Abbey survives|
|Beautiful carving by Tom Harvey|
|A traditional Romany encampment on the edge of town|
It was a scene that could have been played out across many years. We were intrigued to know more about them but, if boaters can get irritated with the often tiresome questions from passers-by about life on a boat then the widely disliked gypsies must feel even more defensive and resentful of intrusion. And I wasn't about to buy some 'lucky heather' to pay for a few minutes of their time so we left them alone.