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Day 5 – Evesham

We awoke to a bright and sunny day. After a leisurely breakfast and a walk to the shop for a paper it was time to set off. The advice for mooring is to face upstream, so we had turned round last night. So after starting up and ready to cast off, we needed to turn back around, which can be daunting if you are used to the still waters of canal cruising. Essentially, though, its just a case of nosing out into the centre and the current starts taking you round. I spy a boat coming upstream, so I complete the turn and then set off, down to IWA lock. A boat is coming up when we arrive – it looks a bit busier today than yesterday. So we wait and then head down. Its easier to just use a single gate in these locks, but I’ve said that before!

Even though we’ve passed a couple of boats, the river still seems quiet. We pass another boat just before Robert Aickman Lock with its strange footbridge across the middle (gives it the feel of a naval dockyard IMO). Shortly after coming through the lock you reach the next one, quite a rarity on the river. George Billington Lock is in its own cutting – you can see a pub over the river, but how to get to it without resorting to paddling seems a mystery.

Once more there’s a lack of boats around, I guess this morning’s activity was a quirt, or boats only come out first thing. We have the river to ourselves all the way to Evesham Lock, which we arrive at a bit early (13:40, so during the Lock Keeper’s Lunch ) and moor up for a spot of lunch ourselves. As we are not in a rush, we set off into the lock at 14:30. This lock has a lock keeper as it marks the boundary between the Lower and Upper Avon, and so as well as operating the lock he checks you have a valid license for entering into the other part. We had a nice chat and apparently we were only the third boat to have gone through the lock that day! So, us not meeting much traffic wasn’t just an effect of our timing on the water but actually a low amount of boats about, which is strange as its Bank Holiday week.

After the lock the river encircles Evesham in a U-shape and we carry on round. There were no boats on the move and only a couple moored up on the waterfront. The book says you have to give your horn a blast when approaching Hampton Ferry, so the ferryman can lower the guide wire. Well it seems to be almost a guess as to where the ferry is, so I gave a blast a couple of times about a minute apart, and it seemed to be fine as we passed unscathed. Shortly after we pass several moored , cruiser style “aka” Tupperware, boats at a private marine before turning into Chadbury Lock. Then we meet another narrowboat, nb Longships, who came up to the lock as we descended, but at least it meant we went by close enough to say hello. After Chadbury, comes Fladbury, and we passed another two boats in between, which makes 3 in the two and a bit miles between the locks. After Fladbury the river went back to boat-free normality, until Tiddle Widdle island where we pass another cruiser. Then we pass another just before reaching Wyre Lock, which is an unusual diamond shaped lock – there were other diamond shaped locks on the Avon, but this seems to be the only one still diamond in shape.

It was now after 5pm and the sun was getting low in the sky, but only a short way to go until Pershore where there seem to be various mooring sites. We stopped before the lock as there seemed to be nice moorings alongside a playing field with easy access to Pershore.  So we turned the boat upstream to more and then decided first thing to do was go shopping, since a supermarket was nearby.

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