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Showing posts from November, 2011

Oxford Canal. Fenny Compton to Marston Doles.

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Where’s everybody gone? It’s as if someone turned a switch on November 1st and made all the boats disappear. We do know where they are really. They’re either tucked up in marinas, or they’re on winter moorings…… or they’re on a canal that isn’t a temporary dead end. Read on…

After moving the car to Marston Doles Bridge, walking back and filling our water tank, we left Fenny Compton around 2pm with Luke as crew. This, as it turned out, was about an hour too late. The James Brindley designed Oxford is a contour hugging, meandering waterway; there are several horseshoe bends and one place where, as you go round a bend to your right, the bridge you are going to go under in half an hour is across a field to your left!
It’s all great fun, but the twists and turns make a nonsense of our 4mph top speed. On most of it we were lucky to be doing half that and ended up way after sunset on the final mile and a half with the headlight on. We knew we would be ok though; the Napton flight - which sta…

Oxford Canal. Fenny Compton.

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Autumn is getting into full swing now; we’ve been to a 2CV Club Halloween party in the pub, the fire is on all day, there are pumpkins on the bow and we’re going for walks with big boots and woolly hats on. The trees are so magical at this time of year. This is the view through Fenny Compton Tunnel.
Spot the deliberate mistake. In 1860 the top was removed and it was turned into a cutting. Talking of going for walks, we went out a couple of days ago in the afternoon, along the towpath, and then off on two little footpaths forming a loop to bring us back to the canal. It was obvious from the start that the second of these was a rarely used path; there were no other footprints and Old Farmer Palmer had ploughed right to the edge of his field and planted winter wheat, but we plodded on, getting a good workout from the rough terrain. Then we came across an electric fence right across the path. We checked the map to make sure we weren’t in the wrong place before ducking under it and forging …