This must have been another wet Spring, it’d be 1998, along the South Oxford Canal, and that’s the swollen River Cherwell running parallel to the Cut.

Shot, I think, between Caves Bridge and Slat Mill Lock (the lock gates are just visible in the distance) again Springtime, it’s likely to have been the same journey. Would it have been Easter perhaps?
In 1994 my then girlfriend and I had bought what was originally a stubby 28 foot long tuggish narrowboat nb. Sam. My relationship with the boat long outlasted the relationship with her and in 1998 Eddie Beasley’s Equinox Boats, then based at the legendary Tooley’s Yard in Banbury, added a10 foot ‘stretch’ to the hold forming a much better proportioned short motor. Renamed nb. Elm I explored much of the waterways system in  her… She was a great single-hander boat.
Cropredy Wharf, there’s nb Elm in the background, the shot give a sense of her proportions, it was Summer, Pete’s Downers nb. Rill and Vi Powell’s nb Galileo are heading up to the middle pound of the Claydon flight for the weekend.
On the River Thames, high Summer, “Get the directors chair out, it’s time for a Kellie Kettle brew…”
Back on the Oxford Canal, Elm’s loosely tied to a bollard by the centre rope as I close the gates of Bourton Lock on my way back to Banbury.
A sultry Summer afternoon. In stressful times it’s good to remember nb Elm, she was a grand boat, and very much forged my love of the waterways.



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