Since our last episode we have been to Heyford and back to Banbury again! After our boat towing adventure Tooley’s contacted me again to do some more work for them and so when our friends Allison & Paul came to visit, it was a good excuse to take them boating up to Banbury. The great advantage with Heyford is that it has a railway station which enables us to commute easily to Banbury and back so we were able to move our car to Banbury ahead of our boat trip, travel back to church (Heyford Park Chapel) on the Sunday & pick up Allison & Paul’s car…. Result! What efficiency. Since being in Banbury we have both been stricken with a flu like lurgi and not felt 100%.. but we are, thankfully improving!
Being here in Banbury reminded us of our first visit here by canal in May 1983 when we hired an 8 berth narrowboat from Hilmorton Narrowboats with our friends Carol & Ted for the grand sum of £226.20 for us and our four kids. I think that the shopping centre must have been in it’s early stages of development (opened as Castle Shopping Centre in 1977 before being expanded in the 1990s) as our 1983 log reports, “Tied up at Banbury car park for night. Found iron bar for mooring [to replace the mooring pin lost the previous day] on car park site” which suggests the development was by no means complete but I remember Woolworths being next to Banbury lock and the area below the lock being very congested with boats!
Our further adventures that holiday involved getting stuck on Aynho Weir as the Cherwell was in spate, but we walked it off and succeeded in entering the lock on the second attempt. Some might say my boating skills have improved very little in the intervening 28 years! Video stills courtesy of Ted’s Super 8 cine camera, note Joy poised on the bows with the boat pole ready to fend off!