Monday 30th August
This morning we finally said farewell to Stratford. Casting off we first headed upstream through the arches of the footbridge and then the main road bridge. Our destination is the services which are marked on the map just about ½ mile upstream. Interesting find this one, it's different to all others we have seen. It's in the middle of a field, a brick built open structure about 50 yds. from the waters edge. It would be impossible to use this facility if the river was still flooding because the mooring itself would be under water.
After filling with water we set off downstream and soon came to the first lock. We were expecting lock keepers, but no one in site. It seems they don't work bank holidays. No hardship, just that we were expecting it. We did the first lock alone, but at the next we caught up with another boat and then continued to share the next five locks down to Bidford on Avon with them. The Avon doesn't have control gates on the weirs like the Thames, and the river flows freely over them. Some are quite pretty as can be seen from the photo above.
The mooring at Bidford is limited and they took the first one to be seen. We couldn't see any more as we travelled down stream a short way so we turned around to go back to the last lock where we had seen some. Luckily as we passed the main moorings a boat signalled that they were just leaving so we were in luck and slotted in quickly.
Bidford turns out to be a small, one horse place, with very little shopping. There is a butcher and we'll give it look tomorrow.