Back to Trip Page
2001 Trip Reports

2002 Trip reports
26th May 2001 Cropredy to Lower Heyford
H.C. 6687 - 6696 Distance 17.3 miles Locks 11
(1 hour stop at Banbury was made for retail therapy!)

Crew - Iris & Terry, Sue & Ron, Carole, Matt, Simon, Brenda & Graham

Iris, Sue and Carole up front!

" We've all had a wonderful day on Jannock, thanks to a kind invite from the Keens family. Had some fun along the route from Cropredy to Aynho where we jumped ship to allow the Keens' to continue south. Not all of us saw Simon enter the water but we did all see his wet trousers. It would appear that Simon likes entering the water whenever we're around. "

" Full marks to Brenda for staying at the helm despite being attacked by angry Geese! We can thoroughly recommend "Postman Pat Tours" - A great day out with great friends. " Thankyou.
Love Iris & Terry, Sue & Ron and Carole.

Simon at the helm with Terry's help
27th May 2001 Lower Heyford to Abingdon
H.C. 6696 - 6709 Distance 22.2 miles Locks 13

Crew - Matt, Brenda & Graham

Jannock continues South after the Aylesbury Mob leave

Seems that the Aylesbury mob took the sun home with them. Only 3 crew today as Simon has had to go home to party revise, so he's missed the moist morning. The waterpoints shown in the canal guide between Thrupp and Dukes Cut are not accessable due to permanent moorers who are not only in the way, but appear to be permanently plumbed in!

The trip round Oxford was mostly uneventful except when Brenda managed to collide with a punt on the Isis by Christchurch Meadow. And what do punts make? ...    Punts make prizes! This incident was closely followed by a 'fast wier moment' at Sandford Lock when Graham had very little control over the direction that Jannock was taking and had to make positive contact with the landing stage above the lock.   That's got to be "marketing speak" for crashing!

This was our first trip on the Thames and we decided that it was generally quite lovely, which is more than can be said for the hire cruisers (Hippos!) that are predominent. We finally ended the day moored above Abingdon lock where we took on water from an exceedingly slow supply. We finished Iris' strawberry gateaux that evening before going for a walk around Abingdon, now what shall we eat? We witnessed a lovely firework display tonight just before retiring for the night.

yachts sailing in Osney Meadow, Oxford
28th May 2001 Abingdon to Burghfield
H.C. 6709 - 6719 Distance 34 miles Locks 12

Crew - Matt, Brenda & Graham

Some lock sharers are more fragile than others

The day started out overcast and got worse. At the second lock of the day, Culham lock, Graham was unable to restart the engine. A mad panic followed as all the other occupants of the lock left and we couldn't. Matt finally saved the day (and a heart attack) by suggesting that I check the STOP lever. Doh!!!!!!! The engine started obediently once it was set to go! The "quite lovely" feeling of the Thames gradually turned to boredom after 6 hours. It's amazing how quickly you can miss having to work locks!!

We joined the Kennet and Avon canal at Reading and discovered "Evil Locks" with fast flowing bypass wiers that exit just where you don't need them to. Ho Hum ..... should we turn back now for the subliminaly easy life on the Thames? Stopped for the evening at Burghfield and obtained a nosebag at The Cunning Man. Food, beer and service were as can be expected at a Harvester with the addition of very convenient mooring facilities. Another firework display tonight! It's very nice of these good citizens to welcome us into their boroughs by laying on displays on 2 nights in a row!

29th May 2001 Burghfield to Aldermaston
H.C. 6719 - 6723 Distance 6 miles Locks 8 Swing/Lift bridges 5

Crew - Matt, Brenda and Graham

Jannock leaving Shenfield lock

What a beautiful day! the weather was lovely and so was the scenery; lush meadows filled with buttercups and even the odd cow ... a very rare sight since the foot & mouth episode started! The locks have been a bit of a trial, too long, too wide and with wicked wiers etc. to complicate matters. Managed to take a "postcard picture" of Jannock leaving Shenfield lock.

We became confused by a huge dutch barge named 'Saul trader'. As we approached we could see that it appeared to be moored but we were unable to determine which side of the canal it was moored to. As we cautiously approached we could see the mooring ropes going off on the towpath side but the boat appeared to be in the middle of the cut. It turned out that she was aground and waiting for the men in green to attend. Subsequently, 3 vanloads of BW staff arrived complaining that this was the 4th time in two weeks that they had to attend this vessel in order to pull it off the bottom. They were hoping that it was so near to the Thames now, that it might " bu**er off to Holland and leave them alone " They had moved it by the time Jannock came back this way in August 2001

Feeding the ducks
And the swans as well

We arrived at Aldermaston early afternoon, passed through the lift bridge and lock and moored above the lock next to Slow Motion, Tina Warwick's boat. They had left her there the Saturday before and were planning to continue the following weekend. Simon and his trusty metro arrived on time to transport us home.

1st June 2001 Aldermaston to Newbury
The next stage of our trip can be found on the Jannock Educational Trust page.

9th June 2001 Newbury to Hungerford
HC 6731 - 6736 Distance 8 miles 12 locks

Crew - Matt, Friedreich, Simon, Brenda and Graham

The logbook entry for today was completed by Friedreich (Matts German exchange student from Bonn) in   German ..... I have scanned it in below for any German (or German reading) visitors to our site. We travelled from Newbury to Hungerford and experienced "Trip Boat Day" having met Avon at Newbury and Kennet Valley at Kintbury.

Avon at Town Lock, Newbury

Friedreich looks serious whilst steering Jannock
today's log entry in German Kennet Valley passes at Kintbury

Don't lose my windlass, Friedreich!

We arrived at Hungerford and filled with water at a muddy, but recently improved sanitary point just to the east of the town. We completed the day with a very good meal in the 'Plume of Feathers' just up the high street from Hungerford bridge. There is a launderette at Hungerford, turn right at the second mini roundabout heading up the high street from the canal.

10th June 2001 Hungerford to Great Bedwyn
HC 6736 - 6740 Distance 5.5 miles 11 locks

Crew - Matt, Friedreich, Simon, Brenda and Graham

Freidreich enjoyed lock working.

A cliche' English summers morn; as we cast off the church bells began to ring out into a clear blue sky. We introduced Friedreich to porridge for breakfast, which was enjoyed with Simon sized dollops of chocolate spread mixed in. Uneventful cruising through lovely countryside to Great Bedwyn. We had hoped to walk up into the village to visit the stonemason's house (not to be missed when in the area) but the boys wanted to get home for an exchange group BBQ. Maybe next time .....

We hope that Friedreich had an enjoyable English experience during his two days on board.

24th June 2001 Great Bedwyn to Hungerford
HC 6740 - 6745 Distance 5.5 miles 11 locks

Crew - Pat, Emily, Simon, Brenda and Graham

Emily and I joined Brenda, Graham & Simon on a stress free day on Jannock (well, it was stress free for us anyway!) The sun shone and Emily sunbathed on the roof as well as having a go at steering and opening the locks. We shared many locks with John and Joan on nb-Florence Rose and so we stopped off in the shade of a large tree and shared lunch with them (they provided the wine which was very much appreciated) Whilst having lunch in the middle of the towpath, we accosted passing walkers and cyclists with sausage rolls and would not let them pass until they had eaten them. All in all, a lovely relaxing day .....
Thanks guys!!     Pat.

Hotel boats leaving Hungerford lock
1st July 2001 Hungerford to Great Bedwyn
H.C. 6745 - 6751 Distance 5 miles Locks 11

Crew - Stuart, Cara, Gemma and Simon
The logbook entries have been made by various members of the crew
so I've placed the relevant name in brackets immediately prior to the entry.

Stuart can work the gates

(Simon) Stuart, Cara, Gemma & Simon are now da krew! Stuarts driving is improving, but still took three attempts to moor (cos he's a panel beater 3rd class) Cara and Gemma are now dedicated water-babes/lock wheelers. What lovely weather.

(Stuart) A special mention should be made, I feel, that despite circum-navigating 2 locks and a bridge no dents were added to my tally, so soon I'll be up in Simon's league!! (Soon probably being a slight exageration)
I think some congratulations should be given to myself and Stuart for some impressive shopping (excluding Simon's picky attitude to the milk) Haven't been salvaging (magnet fishing) yet, but am looking forward to dismantling a few lock bottoms.

(Cara) Simon (Cobb - what the extra B stands for remains a mystery...) issued us with crew T-shirts this morning denoting our ranks. Mine bears the title "spanner monkey". This seems strangely appropriate given the fact that I somehow seem to get covered in grease at every lock that we come to!
(David, delivery driver for remainder of crew)
A very pleasant cup of tea! We wish you all luck and sunshine. just remember to drop the paddles and shut the gates. Good luck again (you must need it) Listen to Radio 3 on Weds at 19:30. I'm on it! David.

Sharing locks with Louise
2nd July 2001 Great Bedwyn to Devizes
H.C. 6752 - 6762 Distance 18 miles Locks 14

Crew - Stuart, Cara, Gemma, Jo, Kev and Simon

(Simon) After waking up at about 6:30 (grumbling stomach) crew was finally spurred into action after only 3 hours! Good mornings work, passing through 14 locks in a row with a Danish family with a 1/3 mile tunnel at Summit. Right, we're all ready to hit Devizes and Caen Hill tomorrow. (Ahhhh! cold water on standby) Crew progressing nicely. Cara is now qualified for driving up and down locks, Stuart for driving rota-stretches, Kev for - well, going for long hikes (he'll never let me forget it!) and Gem holds ropes (Yay her!) Jo - well, great Pasta! Galley slave holds true.

(Jo) Hello, I'm Jo. I cook pasta with random stuff in it, which whilst looking dodgy, tastes OK really. This boat is heeeuge! But it is very nice. I had to fish out the calling card thing from this book, because Simon dropped it in! Oh - and he drank warm/hot appleade. We met some Swiss? people who kept sprouting children - I suspect a child making machine to be on their boat. Hmmmm..... love Jo xxx
It was a busy day for me. I went on the Hogwarts Express, and attended the Sorting - being placed in Gruffindor. I battled a troll and made a new enemy - Draco Malfoy. All with the help of my friend Harry Potter.

Stonemason's bill at Gt. Bedwyn

(Cara) There's nothing left to say really .... today was very hot. We're just about to play cards. I'm in my pyjamas now. Ummmmm .... the end.
I've never laughed so much in my life. I've never heard a seal and a shopping trolley in the same boat before!

3rd July 2001 Devizes to Semington
H.C. 6762 - 6771 Distance 7 miles Locks 36

Crew - Stuart, Cara, Gemma, Jo, Kev and Simon

(Simon) Oh my goodness - it's been one of those days (Yes . . those days) I seem to have lost more blood over the last 24 hours than any other day. Today, I've had 3 nosebleeds, been cut by 1) the toilet door. 2) A lockgate . 3) my windlass and 4) a rather sharp snail (?) I nearly passed out due to lack of food, but disaster was averted - wayhey - Go team! I fell into the canal (one foot anyway) dented the boat with a swingbridge, and all after absolutely NO sleep last night! (But we survived Caen Hill - 4hr 43min 27 sec - beat that you lot!) (31/7/01 4 hrs 15 mins Dad.)

Stuart steers whilst Jo learns the ropes

(Jo) I am immensely full. Kev made a complete monkey of himself by putting a phenomenal amount of effort and weight into opening a paddle before realising that he was trying to wind it the wrong way. HA HA HA!!! Please feel free to laugh heartily at him whenever possible. And we learnt Stuart's middle name 'Pid' So there.
Well, so far today, my second day on a/this canal boat we've had the good, the bad and the ugly. The good was probably the largest chunk of the day being topped off with a pub meal, the bad .. getting stuck in a lock and picking up a sizable dent (or 2) The ugly was probably the 20/30 something locks we did. I'm sure that Simon only asked us on this boat for cheap labour! So, for my first time, it has been an eventful one!

(Cara) Just to add one more disaster to the list, we did manage to get the boat jammed in a lock (alongside another boat) As you can see, it's been a long day. I seem to have completely lost the ability to write in coherent sentences. We did console ourselves with a slap-up pub dinner however, which made it all worthwhile.
Well, today we had a SMASHING time, I felt we've BRIDGED the gap, and we have truly SWUNG together as a team.
Here comes all the revenge for Stuart's dent! Oh yeah - I caught a windlass too!
Jo's magic pasta gunk is made from Pasta, Tomato stuff - (tomato puree, tomato sauce & water), cashew nuts, tuna, sweetcorn, onion and celery.
I think it can only be improved with Chilli sauce!!!

4th July 2001 Semington to Limply Stoke
H.C. 6771 - 6775 Distance 7.5 miles Locks 1

Crew - Stuart, Cara, Gemma, Jo, Kev and Simon

Tiller girls?

(Stuart) As usual, this morning started with my ordeal - I mean shower - and, to be honest, I think that my nerves are beginning to wear a little thin. After being acosted by a random Yocal at Devizes, I thought that today could only get better, but I think as Kev left, so did our last precious drop of sanity. As I sit here writing, Simon is shouting (and I quote) "bublublublub" at every passing cyclist and I am losing the ability to talk. Tell my family that I love them.
(Simon) I'm going outside, I may be sometime! (Ahhh.) (Subtitles .. Bluubluhbluhblub) A reasonably uneventful day. We had issues trying to find anywhere to get a free pumpout disposal point, made harder by the fact that it rained cats & dogs for about an hour in the late morning. BBQ and wine for dinner and Bath beckons tomorrow.

5th July 2001 Limply Stoke to Bath
H.C. 6775 - 6782 Distance 8 miles Locks 4

Crew - Stuart, Cara, Gemma, Jo and Simon

floral Bob the Builder in Bath

(Cara) We're just arrived in Bath after quite a nice lazy morning doing pretty much nothing. Now we're waiting for the rain to stop so we can go and have a look around. Stuart's random gibberish quote from testerday ("four men really, bread really, teeny weeny") is still keeping us amused. I'm leaving for home in a couple of hours and am beginning to wonder how I'm going to re-integrate into society. Hopefully the cabin fever will wear off reasonably quickly!
(Simon) Said goodbye to a tired Cara who left us to go home for some sleep before she gets tested on her Kintorwandan (sp?). The rest of us wandered around Bath and got horribly lost. We were so tired on our return to Jannock that we were forced to take the TV out of storage. Poopump tomorrow!

(Gemma) A short return to normality - the television! Well, about as normal as you can get when watching Big Brother! The absolute highlight of the day was seeing Bob the Builder constructed in flowers - absolutely fab (<- how to use 'absolutely' in a sentence!) As you may have noticed, the cabin fever has spread to spelling as well as talking.

(Simon)Ahhh! Oh and Cara phoned to tell us that she's stolen the toothpaste. (But Gem's a star and has got a spare tube! - Whew!)

6th July 2001 Bath to Bradford upon Avon
H.C. 6782 - 6786 Distance 10 miles Locks 1

Crew - Stuart, Gemma, Jo, and Simon

who's working the bridge then?

(Gemma) What a miserable day! It has rained almost constantly, particularly on Si who steered for quite a while. We eventually pumped the poo, while me and Jo spoke with two very nice old ladies. The rest of the day included the completion of my second Harry Potter book - I am now an official book monster according to Jo - and a round of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire?' Stuart's famous quote is still keeping me and Jo amused, and in all honesty I want a nice, long, warm bath! The week has been so much fun, and I have come away feeling so much closer to Cara!!

(Jo) I'm wet, I've got big hair, Stu is making me wobble and wants to be called Mike, the windows are steamed up and I want a bath! Thankyou for a cool holiday! Just remember - 4 men really, bread really, teeny weeny. Bye!
     P.S.  monkeys
     P.P.S.   a random bale of hay on a dance floor.

(Stuart) Well, we started late as we had to wait for a pumpout, and it gradually got wetter and wetter, until there was all the evidence of going swimming (apart from the possibility of getting a varuca or chlorine in your eyes). A moist end to a really great (if somewhat insane) week. Thanks to the man himself, Simon G Keens for fixing it for me to drive a narrowboat without adding to my tally of dents.

(Simon)Gem's a double star, (see 5th July) cos she's got spare bin-bags as well!

Stuart, chilling out near Brassknocker basin
27th July 2001 Bradford upon Avon
H.C. 6794 - 6795 Distance 1 mile

Crew - Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

We left the 'long term' temporary mooring opposite Budgens at Bradford upon Avon and travelled about 1/2 mile east to wind in the entrance to the marina. Matt carried out a 'text book' turn and we then moored for the night just west of bridge 170 ready for the trip to Bath. It was nice to be cool!

28th July 2001 Bradford upon Avon to Bath
H.C. 6795 - 6801 Distance 10 miles Locks 1

Crew - Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

Jannock crossing Dundas aqueduct

'Oh the heat and the tetse flies' We set off towards Bath in the blazing sun. The trip west was uneventful and we simply had to stop at the George at Bathampton (again, see JET report for 14th July 2001) for lunch, just to get out of the sun (I've heard some excuses in my time!) Echoes of Ice Cold in Alice (or was it Alex). On our arrival in Bath, we turned around and moored  'in'  a tree diagonally opposite Bath narrowboats to get some shade.

There is a launderette, excellent mini-supermarket and pharmacy at Widcombe Parade, Bath. Go along the towpath to deep lock and turn left. You can even have a pint in the pub while you wait for your smalls to spin.    Simon phoned from Argentina ... brilliant!

29th July 2001 Bath to Bradford upon Avon
(the long way)

H.C. 6801 - 6807 Distance 19 miles

Crew - Bruce, Anne, Benjamin, Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

We were visited by a Kennet & Avon volunteer warden this morning who requested that we move from where we were moored as they (who ever they are?) don't like people to moor there. He pointed out that we should have known not to moor there as the canal bank was not kept trimmed. Does this mean that you have to complete the K&A non-stop?

Once our guests for the day had arrived, the west country branch of the Faulkner mafia (Brenda's family), we cruised from Bath to Brassknocker basin where we winded, moored and walked to the Hop Pole for an adequate Sunday lunch. We then returned to Bath where our guests were returned to their car. We winded outside Bath narrowboats again and then returned back again towards Bradford upon Avon.

We stopped at Millbrook swingbridge (179) , near Brassknocker, and purchased diesel from "Digger" 25ppl self service, cash only. It took 130 litres to fill Jannock (just under half full before filling). Digger, like most canal residents, provided numerous humourous stories about hire, timeshare and private boats illustrated with some very colourful language. We suggest a '15' rating. The native herons are posers. Twice we were closer to one than I have ever been before and we even managed to get a photo or two!.
We passed the George at Bathampton three times today without going in!

A posing Heron seen near Bridge 179
30th July 2001 Bradford upon Avon to Foxhanger Wharf
H.C. 6807 - 6813 Distance 9.5 miles Locks 8

Crew - Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

We started the day with a refreshing swim in Bradford upon Avon swimming pool. It is located north of the canal, only a short walk from the embankment before the lock. David obviously enjoyed it so much that he tried paddling in the canal, with his shoes and socks on, hanging from the handrail whilst we were cruising.

sharing a lock with the Lady Espha

We met up, and shared the rest of the days locks with, nb Lady Espha which operates out of Frouds Bridge Marina. We shared several beers whilst performing the team building exercises that involved locks 16 - 21. Swing bridges were dealt with by whichever boat was in front and only once did we have to avoid sharing a lock with another boat who pulled out of the Barge Inn mooring in between us. Bizarely, Lady Espha's gear change cable broke just as we were mooring up for the night at Foxhanger Wharf.
Good luck really, it might have lasted until half way up Caen Hill

31st July 2001 Foxhanger Wharf to Horton
H.C. 6813 - 6819 Distance 5.5 miles Locks 29 (too many)

Crew - Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

The weather started out a promising cool, grey and breezy, but by mid morning was clear blue sky and hot again. Not quite what we wanted for Caen Hill flight. The service engineer that the crew of Lady Espha had called out had replaced their cable by 11 o'clock.

Four and a quarter hot dusty hours work saw us arriving at the top of the Cain Hill flight. In one lock, a family of swans decided to lock up with us. There was not a lot of room available for the five of them in with two 62 foot boats, but they had obviously done it before, and therefore rode it like a white knuckle ride when the paddles were opened. Brenda didn't enjoy driving when she couldn't see them at the front.
Is it purely coincidence that there is a 'Zimmer Frame' shop at the top of the Caen Hill flight?

sharing a lock with a family of swans

Provisions were obtained in Devizes in preparation for a visit from Cap'n & Mrs Beeky and cabin boy Jim. They were joining us at Horton for a paella and sangria evening. Much boating talk was eased along by red wine and juice. It was our first meeting with Andrew and Shiela but there have been many since.

1st August 2001 Horton to Great Bedwyn
H.C. 6819 - 6828 Distance 19 miles Locks 14 and 1 tunnel

Crew - Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

A boring morning with only a couple of swing bridges to occupy us. Passed Andy Gleeson on Teasel between bridges 120 and 119 and then Dave H on Raven shortly afterwards near bridge 116. Daft boat name - Bootle Bumtrinket. Seen moored at Honeystreet, which begs the question, what is a Bootle Bumtrinket and is it legal? (later findings:- It's the name of a boat launched by the Durrell family and written about by Gerald Durrell in one of his books)

another view of yesterdays lock sharing - Who needs a tumble drier?

Stopped for lunch at the Royal Oak, Wootton Rivers. Excellent food complemented by a nice pint. Then came a long slog up to the summit level, through Bruce tunnel and down to Great Bedwyn. Whilst waiting for Jannock to arrive at Bedwyn Church lock, a young lady arrived from a boat that was waiting to use the lock going the other way. She wore cut-off jean shorts, a small bikini top and a belly button ring and proceeded to get ready to work the other paddle. When Jannock was in the lock and ready to descend, she enquired of me "do you go all the way?" I replied " I've never been asked that by a lady before!" She blushed and then only wound the paddle half way up.

We arrived at Bedwyn Wharf at 6PM and all the crew showered whilst we filled up the water tank. We amused ourselves during the evening by feeding the ducks with poppadom pieces. We would only need to give them lager and a whole new species could evolve,
'duckus lagerloutus bedwynii'

2nd August 2001 Great Bedwyn to Newbury
H.C. 6828 - 6839 Distance 13.5 miles Locks 23

Crew - Lorna, Cara, Megan, Matt, David (Jinx), Brenda and Graham

Extra crew taken on board today. Lorna joined us with her nieces (or should that be niecii?) for the day.
(Lorna) Although it rained best part of the day, I have had a most enjoyable day on Jannock. The time seemed to pass quickly and I was sorry when the day ended. We saw a horse drawn barge that the BBC were filming, Megan and I may be in the film so look out on Southern News folks. Graham and Brenda worked extremely hard all day. One thought, watching Graham walking across the lock gates, has he ever been a tightrope walker? Imagine him in tights! Oooh!!! (How sad is that!!!)

Yes it rained, started as soon as Lorna, Megan & Cara turned up, stopped as soon as they stepped ashore... Shared a couple of locks with nb Lucy, went off her steerer rapidly when he began to laugh as we met a Colonel Blimp type who complained that we blocked his entry into the lock although he was almost across the cut blocking any exit from the lock, let alone crew pickup. Did a self pumpout, it must have gone nuclear as all crew and visitors refused to come within 100yds of the sanitary station whilst it was in progress. What a lot of woosies. Some official types who were visiting the Thames Water installation next door seemed entranced with what I was doing and stood and watched for a good 5 minutes. Maybe I should have charged them to watch?

Trip boat Avon at Newbury Town lock

We arrived in Newbury and moored at Northbrook. Once the car shuffle had finished, and Lorna and the girls were on their way home, I collected Kebabs from the shop in Market street and returned to the boat. I know it was a Friday night but every drinking establishment in Newbury had smartly dressed 'bouncers' on the door. The Kebab shop owner informed me that there was a 'new age' festival being held on the outskirts of the town and there had been trouble earlier in the week. We stayed the night and then travelled home in the car. Jannock was to remain here for a fortnight until our friends, the family Urban arrived from the Czech republic to take her back to Cropredy.

18th August 2001 Newbury to Aldermaston
H.C. 6837 - 6843 Distance 9 miles 12 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt, Simon, Brenda & Graham
(the family Urban are visiting from Czech Republic)

(Milena) OK Hello everybody! I'm the first Czech woman who was ever writing in this book.
Well, this is my second time on the narrowboat but I like it very much.

[Takze jsem na teto lodi podruha, ale je to hrozna super. Taky jsem pruni clovek, ktery pise v tato knize cesky]
Today, we (family Keens & family Urban) started our trip in Newbury. we started at 1 PM and stopped at 7PM. By this time we went through 12 locks. After all that we found out that it was 12 - 13 Km. It was raining all day but however we enjoyed it a lot. My family and me are very happy to have friends like family Keens.
[Obe dve roding - Urbani a Keensoui, dnes vytahli kofuu a odstartovali krasny vylet lodi pres Anglii - kdo vi ... Behem 6 hodin -od 13 - 18 oohod jsme zdolali 12 loku a vjeli 13 Km, lod nejede moc rychle, a i kdyz prselo dnes cely den, uzivame si to. Jsme moc radii ze mame pratela jako Keensovi!]

The Czech crew at Reading
19th August 2001 Aldermaston to Reading
H.C. 6843 - 6848 Distance 9 miles 10 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon

Jannock at County Lock, Reading

(Simon) Oh dear, it rained all day. lock operation is definately less fun when it's raining. Stupid thing was that it would rain, we'd get on our waterproofs, it'd stop and then it was too hot if we didn't take our jackets off. This meant that it would rain again. Milena and Frank are both promising drivers, Emilie is A1 galley operative and Fana is... well... just Fana.
The bike (on the roof) got trashed by the low bridge on the Kennet loop at Reading. Good job that our neighbour Ken has the patience to straighten wheels out.

20th August 2001 Reading to Goring (River Thames)
H.C. 6848 - 6854 Distance 13 miles 8 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon
(Graham & Brenda joined them for an evening meal)

(Frank) The whole day without raining! We put on T shirts and shorts and enjoyed the beauties of the landscape on both banks (of the Thames). Miluska (Emily - pet name) was crazy about the big houses she saw during the way. Fana learned how to drive the boat and enjoyed it very much.
(Simon) At Cleeve lock, we turned off the engine (as is the want of Thames lock rules), filled the lock and guess what ........ the engine would not start again. (starter motor completely dead). Called out Dad to fix it, pulled boat out to water point and filled with water, and then Frank (genius) fixed it. Went back to Goring to moor (and rendevous for repair) and had Mum and Dad to dinner - on a public picnic table next to the river.

Thames lock keepers house
21st August 2001 Goring to Abingdon (River Thames)
H.C. 6854 - 6860 Distance 17.5 miles 6 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon

(Graham) The log-book entry for today is written completely in Czech.      So I've scanned it!!!!!!!!!!!

22nd August 2001 Abingdon to Oxford (River Thames)
H.C. 6860 - 6864 Distance 9.5 miles 4 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon

Working boats moored at Oxford

(Simon) A relatively uneventful day. Stopped to fill with water above Abingdon lock and waited about 2 hours because the tap flow was so slow (Oh yes ..... what a rhyme!). We then proceeded up to Oxford. I was paranoid about sinking punts and assorted hired tourist craft and so I forbade Matt to drive. We moored up above Osney lock in Iffley and walked into Oxford to sightsee, dropping Matt off at the Games Workshop 'daycare' centre on route.
(Frank) A very pretty day. The stroll around Oxford centre was beautiful. I enjoyed the climb upto the top of the church tower and the view. The ladies (I am sure) enjoyed the accessories shop best. For the dinner, I cooked the Salmon and it was a success! In the evening we have been watching two girls fishing the crayfish. They did it in the birds cage immersed in the river. They got a lot of them. Simply pretty day.

23rd August 2001 Oxford to Lower Heyford
H.C. 6864 - 6871 Distance 14.5 miles 10 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon

(Simon) A very slow start to the day due to Milena and Emilie spending another 2 hours in Accessorize! Fana took Frank to Electronics Boutique and after 5 minutes in there with Fana and the girl's trip to accessorize, Franks wallet was suffering. The weather declined rapidly during the day finally stopping at rain with wind. At about 5pm, Fana decided to take a swim in the canal. I don't think he enjoyed it too much! During the evening the weather got wetter still and Captain and 1st mate Keens were put up to the job of lock wheeling and driving. We didn't quite make our destination of Aynho wharf because so many moored boats slowed our trip right down. We had a great evening meal thanks to Frank.

24th August 2001 Lower Heyford to Cropredy
H.C. 6871 - 6879 Distance 18 miles 11 Locks

Crew - Frank, Emilie, Milena, Fana, Matt & Simon

(Simon) Moving early today in order to make a run on Banbury. Whether it was due to his swimming lesson yesterday, or his brand new Gameboy thing, Fana was quite reluctant to work any locks today. Emilie successfully navigated her first lock, Frank and Milena added to their tally, and Matt and I were kept busy driving, lock wheeling and opening lift bridges.
In Banbury, shopping was on the cards for the ladies, while Frank and I attempted a pump-out. However the pump became blocked - resulting in a thin coating of sewage around the sanitary station. Clean up and decontamination followed, resulting in my second bath of the day. We moved onto Cropredy and were pleased to find nobody moored in Jannock's home mooring. Dinner was provided at the Brasenose Arms.
Well done crew! - Total mileage:- 90 miles with 61 locks.

30th August 2001 Cropredy to Marston Doles
H.C. 6880 - 6886 Distance 13.5 miles 9 Locks

Crew - Iris, Terry, Graham & Brenda
The cardigan cruise!

(Brenda) First Officer David Smith (of the Aviation variety) has decreed that whenever Mrs Iris Smith is aboard, maritime and aeronautical law dictates that she, and only she, should fill in the log book .......... on the hour, every hour.     --- Revenge is sweet. ---

 9:40 a.m.    All aboard!  Iris.
10:40 a.m.    Engine started - ready to go! Iris.
12:00 noon   Approaching 3rd lock - I've helped by making tea & coffee.   Iris.
 1:05 pm Just going through lock 146 - Claydon.   Iris.
 2:10 pm Forgotten how many locks - will check map later. Have learnt rope trick and tried using a windlass - still very much a learner.    Iris.
 3:50 pm Bit askew with the timing - 2 glasses of wine with SARDINKY on toast made me forget. Terry has been at the helm for some time, Graham is working on the roof and Brenda is relaxing after superb previous steering and teaching/operating the locks.   Iris.
 5:00 pm Graham's painting the roof, Terry's steering and Brenda's cleaning the loo! I have just washed up the lunch things - the view from the window while doing this is wonderful.    Iris.
11:45 p.m.    Where has the time gone? Terrific day and evening. Sun has shone every now and then. The heavy rain came when we were moored and eating a delicious meal of Steak and kidney pie. Have only just finished playing American board game 'Full House' about hotels - on land - not Boat hotels! Terry won, Graham lost.
"night Brenda, Night Graham, Night Terry ..........   Iris........

Jannock starts the descent to Napton

(Brenda) Cabin Fever : Iris - "who's nicked my little bit that I'm gradually breaking little bits off?"

31st August 2001 Marston Doles to Braunston
H.C. 6886 - 6893 Distance 9 miles 9 Locks 2 Pubs 1 Post Office

Crew - Iris, Terry, Graham & Brenda

Filling with Diesel at Napton top lock

 9:20 a.m.     Breakfasted and now filling the boat with water, well, not 'exactly' the boat.... Yesterday we watched a radio mast on various sides if the canal, today we watch for the windmill as we go North, then East, then West, then East etc. etc. etc.    Iris.
 3:00 p.m.    We've been through 9 locks, beginning to master the technique of the lock gates .. I think. Walked up into Napton for a pub as the Folly was closed lunchtime - lovely baguettes for lunch. Have been very lucky and missed two very heavy showers of rain whilst in the pub and the post office. All back on board Jannock and off to Braunston. Sun shining.    Iris.
 6:30 pm     Brenda is cooking a curry - smells wonderful. It looks as though we are off to the pub tonight - Graham has discarded Joanna Lumley on TV tonight for a lady standing on a bridge inviting him to the (Old) Plough. Who is she? - Watch this space.    Iris.
 8:00 p.m.    Iris felt the need to change her bra!    Brenda
      What?    Graham

(Brenda) Graham got propositioned by a blonde on a bridge ..... met up at the Old Plough .... it was the Raven crew (Dave and Lesley) Terry was happy as he spent an evening sat next to a signed photograph of the aforementioned Ms Lumley. The evening took a weird turn as we met Linda (from Newbury) in the public bar of the Old Plough, and then discovered that Lesley PF comes from Thame. So much for the WorldWide Web. Did "Slugs of the Orinoco" on the way back to Jannock. Time for bed (and some medication?)

1st September 2001 Braunston to Napton
H.C. 6893 - 6897 Distance 8 miles 6 Locks

Crew - Iris, Terry, Graham & Brenda

Rhiannon passes Jannock at Napton bottom lock

 5:30 p.m.    Sitting at the front of the boat with the sun shining. Moored and packed and ready to go after another of Brenda's delicious meals. Graham and Terry have painted the roof of the boat - us ladies have been domestics. Had more fun today. This time it was Brenda's turn to "pull" the fellas - (the Rhiannon Formation Locking team were spotted leaving the Bridge at Napton - this Cutweb Internet Club is very friendly!! Thankyou Brenda and Graham for 3 wonderful days.

29th September 2001 Napton to Claydon
H.C. 6899 - 6906 Distance 15 miles Locks 3

Crew - Peter, Ian, Brian and Graham

It should be noted that SODDIT is a card game indulged in by Graham, Ian, Peter and Brian religously every Sunday evening at the Rising Sun in Thame

(Graham) 10:00 It rained and rained and rained. We finally togged up for the rain and set off. One lock later (Napton Adkins 14) it stopped and was then sunny for the rest of the day. Ian stripped off and was exhibiting his pink parts to the female crew of the boat behind us at Marston Doles water point.

(Ian) En Francais
10:45 Il pleut
10:50 Il pleut
10:55 Champagne
11:00 il pleut encore.
11:15 Graham opened his first beer much to the dismay of Peter, Brian and Ian who waited until much later.

(Graham) What?
(Ian) 11:30 Le soleil! Alors, mais Graham had another beer!
(Graham) Stitched up or what?
(Ian) Brian, Peter and Ian had to steer the boat straight. Three locks, several miles, a few bends and let the fishing commence ............ fishing over.
(Ian)   ....... There are no fish here!

Jannock entering Claydon top lock
Brian knows how a sink works!

(Peter) Seen a new sport today - where two people dangle bits of string into the river canal with spam sandwiches on the end and just stare at them - must get a copy of the rules!
(Graham) Peter and I turned live fishing into a spectator sport. We settled on the roof in comfy chairs, with a couple of beers, and proceeded to take the mickey out of the Brain and Ian for a good hour. Fishing was followed by an excellent chinese meal served up by Ian. The night was completed with a couple of games of Soddit.

30th September 2001 Claydon to Cropredy
SODDIT Cruise (day 2)
H.C. 6906 - 6909 Distance 4 miles Locks 9

Crew - Peter, Ian, Brian and Graham

going down through Cropredy lock

(Peter) Soddit evening collapsed last night after only two games. I think that we were all so tired after working so hard. Ian has gone fishing to catch our breakfast, I've ordered a smoked mackerel. Fresh air not too sweet this morning.
(Brian) Soddit on tour - day 2
Arrived back at base OK - don't know how? Didn't manage to upset too many fishermen. At least we finally saw some fish being caught. 1st beer of the day at 10:30 ish just short of the sun being over the yardarm. As we couldn't see any sun, it didn't matter. BBQ abandoned due to inclement weather. It's raining
Excellent weekend - must do it again.

25th October 2001 Cropredy to Banbury and return
H.C. 6911 - 6916 Distance 10 miles 8 Locks

Crew - Briony, David (Jinx), Matt, Judy, Mike, Brenda & Graham

(Briony) " My name is Briony I hellped with the locks. It was realy fun I wood like to cume again
Fankyou "

Briony driving Jannock
Brenda and Briony at Banbury lock

(Judy) We all had a brilliant day, it didn't rain!! Brenda had a run in with a couple who felt that she should be on the other side of the canal ...
(Brenda) ...but then she couldn't have seen the moored boat, just around the bend, that I had moved to mid channel to avoid. Why does a 'new paint job' lead to such unpleasantries. It must be the fumes.
(Judy) Matt crashed into an un-manned rowing boat in the middle of the canal. Pandas were numerous. Had a great day, many thanks.

27th October 2001 Cropredy to Napton
Draco's birthday bash

H.C. 6915 - 6923 Distance 18 miles 19 Locks

Crew - Andy, Brian & Graham

(Brian) Up at crack of dawn - whatever time that was (07:00). Set off at 08:00 Beautiful day - no clouds and I'm on lock wheeling duty. Basically that means that I have to walk. First beer of the day before cooked breakfast at 10:00. Seem to be doing well - 6 LMH (9 locks & 3 miles) Roll on bacon sarnies.

(Graham) Sarnies served on summit level. Beers opened and G&T for Andy. Lots of delays down Napton flight due to traffic (mostly one way). At one point, another boat (going in the opposite direction) was trying to get into the lock whilst Jannock was still in it. Brian held back and handled the situation very well. No lock rage involved! We then turned at Napton winding point but had to pass back through Napton bottom lock before mooring just above it. Draco was moored there too. The evening started with Brian and I teaching Andy to play SODDIT and then moved into the Folly at Napton for Draco's birthday bash. Happy Birthday to Draco (the 'reason' for this trip)

Brian driving Jannock
28th October 2001 Napton to Cropredy
H.C. 6923 - 6931 Distance 18 miles 17 Locks

Crew - Andy, Brian & Graham

an atmospheric morning shot

(Graham) The clocks went back at 02:00 this morning (except ours) Up at 06:00 and away by 07:00. Onto summit level and bound for Fenny Compton by 08:30 thus averaging 6 LMH for the 1st 1.5 hours. Brian opened his first beer of the day at 09:30. We are now refering to the time as 'old money' and 'new money'. Oh dear!
(Andy) The mast at Wormleighton (ngr SP 434 555) has been in sight for hours... Have we gone anywhere? Had a shower, nice to feel clean for the first time in 2 days. Took some atmospheric photos of the countryside shrouded in mist. Cloud is now building up after a fine start to the day.

(Brian) I did the sharp bend in the wiggly bit. Got good marks from Cap'n Graham!!! Was very pleased with myself. Met the boat that tried to get into the lock with us yesterday while we were still trying to get out of it. This time they were across the canal just after a bridge. The excuse that they gave was " we're trying to avoid that bush, so that we don't scrape the new paintwork" Some people! Arrived at mooring at Cropredy at 16:05 (old money)

You can do it Brian!
29th December 2001 Cropredy Old Mill
H.C. 6931 - 6932 Distance 0.2 miles

Crew - Graham & Brenda

the centre of Banbury (Castle Quay development)

As the year draws to a close, Graham and I almost earned our wings. We had to move Jannock a little way South from our permanent mooring at Old Mill because BW plan to start work on the towpath and edges on January 4th 2002. It may have only been a few hundred yards, but we actually cruised in snow. Mind you, as soon as we had moored up and had a cuppa to warm us up, the sun came out.
We drove into Banbury and had a look at the progress being made restoring/preserving Tooley's boatyard. It should be open in spring, ready for the next cruising season. In our copy of Rolt's tome there are some photos of Tooley's yard as was, and a footnote from Sonia Rolt saying that she expects it to be destroyed to make way for the shopping centre. I believe the Castle Quay development has been the saving of Tooley's and a real filip for the canal in Banbury.
So, here's to progress in 2002, although it is not always recognisable as such until hindsight kicks in.

Happy New Year
to all our crews on all our cruises.

Back to Trip Page

back to Home Page

2002 Trip Reports