A working pair leaving Stoke Bruerne Locks, 23rd October 2006

Sunday, 29th October 2006:

Having spent over a month in and around London exploring the delights of Paddington Basin, The Regents Canal, Limehouse (and Canary Wharf!) and the Lee & Stort Navigations, we are now back on the Southern Oxford Canal where we shall be spending the Winter. We enjoyed an extremely pleasant trip up the Grand Union Canal which included a week at Aylesbury Basin where we were made to feel extremely welcome by the Aylesbury Canal Society. Back in 1984, Jane worked in Aylesbury so we were able to renew our acquaintence with the area and meet up with old friends.

We arrived at Stoke Bruerne on 22nd October 2006 and were pleasantly surprised the following morning by the sight of a convoy of narrowboats including two old working pairs en-route to Southall in the annual re-creation of 'The last Jam 'ole Run' from Atherstone to the site of the former jam factory of Kearley and Tongue. The original load was coal from the Warwickshire coalfield and it is generally acknowledged to have been the last regular commercial cargo to be carried for any significant distance by pairs of narrowboats. The trade ceased when the jam factory closed in August 1970. The photographs on this page show two pairs of narrowboats including motor 'Nuneaton' and butty 'Brighton' of the Narrow Boat Trust at Stoke Bruerne on 23rd October 2006.

When we arrived at Napton on the Southern section of the Oxford Canal, we found the tow path below the bottom lock almost deserted and, as it is an extremely pleasant spot, we decided to ask British Waterways about the possibility of staying at Napton for the Winter.

With our Winter Mooring proposals approved and the necessary fees paid we are now nicely settled in at Napton for the duration . . .

A working pair decending Stoke Bruerne Locks, 23rd October 2006

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© Graham & Jane Oliver 2006