Stowe Hill Marine no more

Monday, 27 July 2009

It would appear that Stowe Hill Marine are no more. There is a news item in CanalsandRiver dated 8 July that states Stowe Hill Marine ceased trading a the end of June 09. Pete & Julie Hill sold the business to Simon Kennedy at the end of May04- BB being the last Pete Hill Stowe boat (number 165), about another 25 boats have been built by Simon.

The article states that Rugby Boat Sales are taking over the shop area and will take over the diesel and pump out facilities. Robert Gudgeon and Graham Shepherd will take over the dry dock and workshop. No mention has been made about unfinished boats although when we went past in June we couldn't see any new hulls.

The end of an era no more Stowe Hill low line tug style narrow boats- RIP.

Now back at Wigrams

Sunday, 19 July 2009

We are now back in the marina having covered only 94 locks and 138 miles in 3 weeks. As we made our way back up the Oxford canal it was very busy with queues at most of the locks. When we were in Banbury on Monday afternoon in a period of 15mins 8 boats went past and then they all had to wait to go done the lock in the centre of Banbury -a good reason to go back to the south coast and come out again in September. We need to go to welford so that BBs bottom can be blacked together with a few other jobs.

When we went through Thrupp we had a chance to meet two bloggers Maffi and Bones it was great to put faces to names.

A few final pictures of the trip

We were followed up the Claydon flight by a very friendly couple who had a 15 year old beardy/airedale cross with a lovely face.

A you come in/out of Banbury you pass a house with a picture of the owners on the wall- perhaps this could catch on now that ID cards have been scrapped.

As we waited for the water tank to fill at Cropredy I noticed the road name- Is it a statement or is it because the road goes round the bottom of the village.

Pictures from the Thames and Oxford canal

We first came past Twyford Wharf on the Oxford 6 years ago in fact the year we ordered BB and when the work on the wharf had first started- it now looks excellent with the hard work really paying off.

The bridge holes on narrow canals can be very tight as this view of BB entering Nell Bridge Lock where you go under the new A41 road bridge whic is in front of the old one.

A un modernised fishing lodge on the Thames near The Ferryman Inn

A great Thames boat house with launch

A splendid Thames sunset above Pinkhill lock


Monday, 13 July 2009

Its not only the scenery that we go through on the journey its the diversity of things that you see. I therefore include a selection of the different boats seen on the trip.

A great name but you have to do the accent

We saw this boat near Enslow Wharf -if you enlarge the picture it has a huge mast, solar panels and satellite dish.

A floating steel shed under construction

An amphibious plastic carboat

Is this the narrow boat equivalent of a smart car

Now back at Banbury

We came off the Thames last Friday and have made our way back up the South Oxford canal to Banbury and sunshine, light showers anp heavy showers. Anne's sister and husband joined us for the day on Saturday after yomping down the canal from Lower Heyford - a very pleasant day especially with help through a few of the locks. We also managed to BBQ some prawns before the heavens opened in the evening. Ones from Morrisons athough the one lock keeper on the Thames had caught about 30 huge american crayfish in the weir stream in one night, they make excellent eating.

We stopped Sunday night at Sarah and Deans smallholding just above Nell Bridge Lock where thet have put in mooring on the off side for £5.75(inc VAT) plus £2 for electricity- you can also buy free range pork and sausages- a really good idea which I hope is succesfull for them.

I will try and upload some pictures but I am having difficulties at the moment.

So far only 2 cappuccino's - both in Banbury- the Thames above Oxford is a no go area for good coffee.

On to the Thames towards Lechlade

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The weather changed last Friday as we reached the Thames with heavy rain showers and strong south westerly winds which resulted in us running aground and me having a close encounter with a local tree as the wind blew the boat across the river as we set off one morning. A good lesson though as we should have gone through how we would leave the bank taking into account the wind and the current- something we now do each time on the river.

We are moored tonight above Rushey lock far from the madding crowd except VC10s and AWACS 707 (picture below) flying round from Brize Norton

Looking from our mooring to Swinford Toll Bridge

Face watching over you at Radcot Lock

Old Father Thames with paddle at St Johns Lock Lechlade the last one on the Thames

A Lincoln tug which has a lovely bow shape

Leaving Lechlade meadow with the church in the background

My brother Peter visited us at Lechlade with his Gordon Setter Jackie who found a great place to watch the ducks and swans. They are used to find the game birds and set them flying , so she was stalking any bird she could find on the ground when we went for walks across the meadow.

The last bit of the Oxford canal to the Thames

The trip down the Oxford continued in very hot sunshine. A few images seen on the way.

A mini narrow boat near Kidlington

Parking outside the Boat Inn at Thrupp

A lovely oak house next to Pigeon's Lock

A very clever farmer above Nells Bridge Lock has created moorings on the offside with power and water for I think £5 per night