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Tour 2001

Index

Fenland Tour Summer 2001

35 - Lechlade to Hannington Bridge to Kelmscot - River Thames.

Monday 6th August 2001

After breaky and congregation of a multitude of crew on Earnest we set off.....direction UP! Left Lechlade VM at 09.20 in drizzle - got brighter later. It had rained a fair bit overnight, which would have helped us depth wise further up. Trees around the Round house at Inglesham seemed more cut down. Generally less weed / rushes about than present in 1999, during the disastrous rubber boat exploit to above Hannington Bridge (this was with a higher level and more flow). 
We passed the point where in 1999 a few small cruisers had been moored. These were all gone and the little stages washed away. After this the chainsaw came out and Neil practiced excessive willow tree and hawthorn bush mangulation. We passed the last clearing and even after this spotted one even better place where we could wind a 60ft nb (GPS bearing was N51  40.037  W01  44.267 – O^S Grid Ref 182965 sheet 163) 
After this the chainsaw became even more active and we set quite large log jams down stream to be a problem on our return........but the whole point of the excessive use of the chainsaw was to open up the river for more people to attempt - my, even a few Thames based cruisers may be tempted to go up here now! Eventually Ian Clarke got excited as he could see the radio aerial by the water company's metering house, just above Hannington Bridge. 
Soon after this we started seriously hitting the gravel bottom, but managed to blast this shoal out of the way until it became deeper again. It was then free up to Hannington Bridge, where we seriously grounded on small rocks, just before the bridge (12.30). Ian Clarke jumped in and waded to under the centre arch of the bridge.......the river ahead was completely blocked with tall rushes.......even a canoe would have trouble getting through. We worked out that with the level about a foot higher Earnest could get over the rocks and shingle and would still just clear the centre arch of the bridge. 
After much video / piccy taking and an impromptu mass pizza lunch, we departed backwards. Fairly controlled descent, but chainsaw had thrown it's chain and needed a serious sorting out. A few more branches were attacked with handsaws and the Bosch Multi purpose saw. Easy wind at the mentioned winding point (13.40). Neil just stuffed stern into deepish inner south bank and the current pushed the bow round. Probably could have forced a 65fter round here. 
Now it was an easy and controlled forward facing passage back. We stopped on the near deserted Lechlade VM at 15.40. Ian C and family got ready to go back downstream in Straight Across, as well as Mike, Moira and son Leon on Diana 3. Neil, Peter and Damian cleaned up Earnest - rather a lot of sawdust and tree debris everywhere. We started back down at 16.10. Stopped for the night at Kelmscot - field moorings above the little wharf and went to the very picturesque “Plough Inn”. not doing food tonight (new rather disorientated owners) Went back to boat for late Spag Bol and then video show for virtually all crew members from the three boats.

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The Upper River Thames approaching Inglesham roundhouse (The start of the moribund Thames and Severn Canal.)

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The start of chainsaw operations. Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Lumberjack Neil. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Lumberjack Neil. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Lumberjack Neil. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Part  of the crew - Mike Philips, Damian Munn, John, Ian and Nancy Clarke. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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We arrive at Hannington Bridge and Ian Clarke gets excited. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Hannington Bridge. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Hannington Bridge - Neil on the bow. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Ian checks the depth and takes some piccies. Hannington Bridge. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Earnest on the rocks just before Hannington Bridge. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Hannington Bridge. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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We start to back down from Hannington Bridge. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. Some of our handiwork. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. Some of our handiwork. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. Another branch has to go. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. Some of our handiwork. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. Some of our handiwork. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Reversing back to the winding point. We approach one of or log jams! The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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The winding point. The current takes the bow round. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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The winding point. The stern planted into the deep water bank. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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The winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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The winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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Leaving the winding point. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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On the way back. The spot where the cruisers were. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames above Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Approaching  Inglesham. A Dory is going up - we egg them to go on to Hannington Bridge.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham. The overhanging branches above the round house that used to put people off from venturing further up are gone.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham. This split tree will soon collapse and block the river.

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham. The "normal" end of navigation, by the round house. Easy wind for 70ft narrowboat in the confluence with the River Coln. 

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On the way back. The Upper River Thames. Inglesham. Someone does not want you venturing up the River Coln!

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The Upper River Thames above Lechlade.

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The Upper River Thames above Lechlade.

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The Upper River Thames. Lechlade. Ha'penny Bridge.

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The Upper River Thames. Lechlade.

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The Upper River Thames. Lechlade. Field visitor moorings.

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The Upper River Thames. Leaving Lechlade. Straight Across following.

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The Upper River Thames. Leaving Lechlade.

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The Plough Inn, Kelmscot. Upper River Thames.

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The Plough Inn, Kelmscot. Upper River Thames.

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The Plough Inn, Kelmscot. Upper River Thames.

The Tour continues


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