Above Elkington’s Lock. The lock was buzzing with activity, nb. Albert had just passed through, another boat was rising and a kind bloke from a boat waiting below the locak was helping everyone lock-through.

…having winded at Clattercote Wharf we headed south into a bright Autumn afternoon of long shadows and warm sunshine. Molly and Fin contented themselves inside the ‘long cabin’ whilst Claire, Joe and I worked through Elkington’s and Broadmoor Locks.

The hedgerows along the towpath bulged with rosehips and bright red haws, and leaves showed the first signs of paint-splattered Autumnal colouring. Joe spotted the odd lingering blackberry and had a happy afternoon foraging, and feeding, and helping with pushing open the lock gates.

Claire has developed much greater confidence working the locks over this first boating year. A peaceful moment created by a combination of purposeful activity, and the kids happily engaged and content.
Joe studying the pumpkins given by Gregg as a parting gift. He was full of questions this afternoon, and enjoyed being outside with us…
Rosehips in profusion along the towpath hedges…
The family enjoying the golden sunshine, a perfect moment as far as I’m concerned.
The earth works mark the start of excavations for the new mega-marina being created on the edge of Cropredy… I hope it doesn’t clog-up and ruin this idyllic rural narrow canal.
The pinch-point, site of a former lift bridge, adjacent to Prescote Manor, close to where the River Cherwell runs close to the canal, on the edge of Cropredy…
I bought a couple of Euro-Millions lottery cards on Friday, if my numbers had come up this is the kind of canal-side dream property I’d buy – sadly, the numbers didn’t come up, so it’ll not be this week!

We moored on the straight section as you enter Cropredy, above Cropredy Lock and opposite the stunning property above. Ahead of us fellow bloggers Steve & Maggie Parkin had moored nb. Albert. Steve took a break from brass polishing to say hello and we chatted about this and that, and particularly BCN day boats, and the tale of Steve’s uncle converting just such a boat. I hope Steve doesn’t mind that I’ve copied a couple of photo from his blog to illustrate our conversation. The full story of the conversion of nb. Lion can be found on Steve’s site HERE.

Steve & Maggie’s nb. Albert

After safely mooring up we walked back up the towpath to Forge Farm to collect the car. What a perfect afternoon for a welly-boot & woolly jumper walk! The kids content, a time of exploring, chatting, looking, listening and learning – a grand time!

Molly racing ahead to explore, she loves to be out in front…
This delightful piece of painted ware was being used as an ash can by one of the moored boats above Broadmoor Lock, I was tempted to make an offer for it!
Taking the bridle path from the canal back to the farm as the afternoon shadow lengthen.

Once we had the car we took a late afternoon drive out to explore the canal around Long Itchington Locks at Stockton, and had a filling supper at The Blue Lias as the sun set.

Canalside garden at The Blue Lias
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