After a very wet day on Tuesday travelling from Banbury to Fenny Compton we awoke to a misty morning which augured well for the day ahead. The promise fulfilled, we made it through to Braunston Turn by mid afternoon. As we approached the white arched bridges which span the junction of the North and Soouth Oxford canal with the Grand Union we could see Autumn Venture tied up on the wharf at Midland Chandlers. Finding a mooring just round the corner was a surprise, having never seen this stretch of the N. Oxford free of boats.When they had spent up Nigel and Jeanette pulled over to join us.
Late the next morning Norman and Margaret on L'Attitude Adjustment arrived to complete our domination of the moorings.
During a shopping expedition to the chandlers on Friday we encountered Darren (late of Severn Valley Boat Centre) who is working for Midland Chandlers. As he is staying in a local hotel three nights a week we took up his recommendation to eat at The Old Plough in Braunston. Well the food was superb. REAL home cooking - not the Brake Bros/deep frier/microwave home cooking provided by most pubs. Lamb casserole was tender and tasty and the lasagne and ham, egg & chips all were a success too. The cherry crumble (made with fresh cherries, not canned pie filling) was top of the pud charts. Real ale and good prices make this a pub to return to. If you look it up on Google be careful as there is also an Old Plough in Braunston in Rutland. We didn't go there. The one you want is in Northants.
Over dinner we exchanged tales of boats we had met. There were the usual tales of novices who don't realise they have to operate the locks. We related our experience on the S. Oxford when departing a lock iIwas confronted by a hire boat coming at me full tilt. As the two crew jumped off and tried to stop the boat with ropes (they had not been shown the reverse gear) my only escape was to reverse completely into the lock again. The most bizarre story told concerned an American couple who were found looking at their first lock completely bemused. They had arrived at Canaltime directly from the airport and yes they had not understand the relevance of the video shown to them before being given the keys to their craft. What really puzzled them, howeer, was that they thought they had booked a country cottage on the internet! Our story tellers gave them some rudimentary instruction and worked through some locks with them but how they fared for the remainder of their holiday we can only hope it improved.
As we walked down the hill back to the canal the rain had cleared and we enjoyed the view of the church spire which can be seen from so far away on the canal approaches to Braunston Jct.
Autumn Venture left us early next morning headed for the Ashby canal. We followed some days later.
Braunston Church and an old plough