Saturday, 27 May 2017


Today's Navigation - River Witham

As the sun was just rising, around five o'clock, there was quite a mist blowing over the river. However, by the time we awoke properly it had disappeared and very hot sunshine prevailed.

Several of the cruisers on the moorings left quite quickly but Mike took the opportunity also to walk along the River Rail Way, for a short distance to the viaduct over the river, just below Bardney Lock.

When we ourselves set off, another narrowboat was already in the lock and kindly waited for us. As we went down and quite a flow of water came through the lock, it occurred that some would immediately blame this on a lack of maintenance. However, the gates looked reasonably good and, more often than not, such leakage is as a result of rubbish collecting on the cill so that the gates do not close properly. Of course, it could be said that when labour was cheap, regular, even daily, raking out would keep the cill clear - but the weed is growing rapidly and it would be a hard task to keep on top of it completely.

We only went just around the corner to Bardney Village moorings where there was plenty of room to tie up so that we could walk into the village. Some of the first splashes of wild roses greeted as we stepped ashore. It was around 15 minutes walk to the centre where there are several shops - alas neither the Co-Op nor the Post Office had our newspaper in stock but we did buy a couple of small cakes - from the butcher!

There is a memorial to one of the squadrons that was based at Bardney airfield during WW2. It is, unusually, made from a propeller.

On then to the village church. A long time back there was an Abbey which served the local population but it seems that the Abbey residents preferred peace and quiet so built a church in the village itself! Sadly, the Abbey long since became no more that a few humps in a field whilst the church lives on.

At the start of the 20C, the local vicar undertook an excavation of the Abbey site and some of the stones are on display, although later ideas on archaeology led to most being re-buried on the original site and grassed over once again.

A statue of St Lawrence dates back to the 8C but the paintings of saints on the walls are from 1934.

From there we walked back towards the river and called at the Heritage Centre. This was a little disappointing as it is really now just a tea room, catering for the cyclists and walkers on the riverside path.

At one time the station was a junction where a branch line left to go up to Louth, some 30 kilometres north east, whilst the main line continued to Boston.

Back at the boat we set off downstream quite quickly as we hoped for a mooring at Southrey, so that we can go to church there in the morning. It was a very pleasant run for just over an hour - we could see just how things have developed in the past week. Even three days ago there were only the odd one or two water lily flowers but now many more have emerged.

When we arrived at the moorings - there is a pontoon on either side - the only space was on the one opposite the village! We moored up for the rest of the day, as was our plan, but we hoed in vain for one of the two boats on the other side to move away, but alas no. The church is only a couple of hundred metres away but, with the river in between, it might just as well have been a hundred kilometres! Surprisingly, after we arrived there was only perhaps one other boat that came by.

3.8 Miles - 1 Lock

1 comment:

  1. Can just see Naughty-Cal pocking out through the mist. Cracking picture.