Day 48 – Cropredy to Lower Heyford


The last day of Tardebigge’s epic voyage.

Bernard undertook another oil change whilst others slumbered in their beds and we eventually made the short journey to Slat Mill Lock around 8.30. A boat passed us heading in the same direction just before we set off. They were heading to Oxford from Fenny that day so they must have already been on the move for a few hours!

After two locks we hit a long queue at Hardwick Lock on the northern fringes of Banbury. We also had a sunken boat-cum-shed to manouevre round at the lock landing. Thankfully the majority of boats seemed totie up around Banbury so we were quickly through the town centre, lift bridge and lock. There were boats everywhere below the lock which we have never seen before. Just enough room to pass.

We pressed on. Michael was desperate for an ice cream since he’d only had a couple all holiday. There was not much sign of life at Kings Sutton Lock despite buying ice creams there before. We eventually found some (and a bottle of gas) at Aynho Boatyard. Michael enjoyed his mint Magnum in the light rain….

Somerton Deep Lock was the 500th of our journey. Griggs took a photo to mark the occasion which I’ll add when he sends it to me.

Our ambition was to reach Heyford in time for the 1735 train to Oxford. We were unlikely to make it. Remarkably we tied up just as it was leaving the station. Simultaneously Laura arrived to take Nick home and very kindly squeezed all of us into her car and took us back to Oxford. Our epic voyage was over.

I’ll do a separate post with journey statistics when they are worked out, but in the meantime, here are the last couple of pictures.

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