Sunday, 28 May 2017


Today's Navigation - River Witham

The weather today was quite mixed. At first there was bright sunshine even though there was a breeze blowing. Mid morning cloud appeared and the breeze increased. It was still warm but the breeze meant that it felt distinctly cooler. By mid afternoon, sunshine returned, the breeze dropped and temperatures rose significantly.

Our original plan was to go the small church in Southrey for their service at 9:30 but we had not been able to secure a mooring on that side. We arose with limited hopes that one of the boats would leave early but no such luck! One of them looked as if it had taken up long term residence. As a result, Plan B was implemented: we turned around and headed back to Bardney where there was a joint service with the Methodists at 10:15 and we knew that it was not much of a walk from the moorings.

Alas, Plan B failed when the moorings came into view with six cruisers lined up nose to tail! Hence we formed Plan C as we were reasonably certain that we would find room on the longer term moorings just above Stamp End Lock. There is quite  long stretch and, as they are not especially scenic they are not in such high demand from passing tourists.

The sun was in the right direction for this view of the Corn Sculpture.

Five years ago we took a good view of the Cows Sculpture but this year the vegetation seems to have grown up and it is east to miss. Even so, you need to be told what it is of as it is now less than obvious.

It was just after mid-day when we arrived at Stamp End - a boat was just coming down, with nb Judy just going on ahead. There was indeed ample room where we hoped to find it and we ended up in the same spot as when we stopped for lunch on the last time down and our neighbour was the same as then. He had just been over to the boat show at Crick - he was somewhat disappointed as the focus seems  no longer to be on boats but a family festival. He particularly wanted a chandler but there were no such stalls.

After  a long lunch break we were ready to complete Plan C - walking up to the cathedral for Choral Evensong.

We took a side road most of the way up, only merging onto Steep Hill just before the castle square. It was a visiting choir from Louth singing the liturgy today. It was a mixed choir but obviously well-trained and they tackled some excellent music including an Anthem by Matthias with typically eccentric rhythms.

After the service finished we walked back down the hill, keeping to the famous route to the bottom. This gave us a chance to take in some of the historic buildings which now mingle with modern infill and updated shop fronts.

Still, it is sometimes worth looking at the information boards - this is Jews' Court, dating back to the days when only Jews were permitted to be moneylenders.

And some of the buildings keep their best parts to the upper floors.

The streets down at river level were still busy (the market was just closing outside the castle as we came out of the cathedral) Many of the eating and drinking places were well patronised in the early evening warm sunshine. We returned to the boat to set about preparing our conventional Sunday roast dinner.

11.8 Miles - 2 Locks

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