Lechlade-on-Thames

Today we reached the head of the navigable Thames. The actual navigation continues a further three miles to Cricklade, but not generally for powered craft. We had four Locks to navigate, three of which were manned by duty Lock keepers. The thunderstorms forecast last night did not materialise, and the rain this morning did not amount to much either. We spotted various potential mooring opportunities on the way, and each of these has been recorded in our guide for future use. The final lock prior to reaching Lechlade is St. John’s Lock, complete with statue to Old Father Thames.

Old Father Thames

Once through the Lock we had half a mile to go, before reaching our mooring on a large field, just prior to Ha’penny Bridge. We secured the boat and wandered off to find a lunch location.

Mooring at Lechlade
Ha’penny Bridge

Ha’penny bridge is only open to single way traffic, and at the northern end of the bridge is the former toll house, built circa 1790. It also afforded a birds eye view of our mooring spot.

Ha’penny Bridge Toll House
Looking down on our mooring

After lunch we took four legs for a walk across the field to the Round House. This is as far as we could go before having to wind if we chose to. Several people have warned us that the turn is extremely tight due to the depth of water available.

Round House, the limit of the Navigation
Look how shallow due to silting

Seeing the depth we are glad we did not bring the boat up. We will wind by Ha’penny Bridge when we depart Lechlade. Back at the boat we sat outside to enjoy the afternoon sunshine. It was during this time that our neighbours became a bit too friendly.

Our neighbours
Washing the boat

We had been advised by the Lock keepers to remove the flowers from the roof, otherwise the cows have been known to climb up to reach them. Our afternoon was periodically interrupted by numerous fly pasts of RAF transport aircraft, both propeller and jets. We assume the new recruits are being taught to fly.

RAF in training

There are no notices about charges for mooring here, but we have been informed someone will be along at 8 am, tapping on the boat to collect a fiver. We could have taped an envelope to the outside of the boat, but the cows would probably eat it. Someone will have to get up early. I doubt very much it will be the crew.

Totals 7 Miles 4 Locks

Running total 226 Miles 281 Locks 9 Tunnels