Yesterday, I got a message and two pictures from Michael to say ‘The Swift Ditch Bridge near the old lock is being repaired. It is closed until about March 5th. That means you cannot get from Abingdon Lock to the path by the railway line that leads to Culham.’
The warning notice was still up there today.
The bridge had however been put back together and there were no barriers, today. Some people were walking across.
Swift ditch leaves the River Thames above Abingdon Lock and rejoins the River Thames near Culham Bridge.
Work is continuing at Abindon Lock on ‘Reconstructing of tail layby and canoe portage’. Progress has been held up by the weather.
I will see Michael tomorrow on Zoom at the Abingdon Share a Poem group where the topic is Rivers. One poem I may read is this one by Oswald Couldrey. I found it in the book Local Colour – an anthology of local poems from 1951. Oswald worked and travelled, painted and wrote, in India and surrounding countries from 1909-1919, and must also have known Myanmar (then known as Burma).
A heated beer tent has appeared on Nags Head Island. The Nags Head pub say ‘Oktoberfest in Munich might have been cancelled but Oktoberfest on The Thames hasn’t!’ It is from Friday 16th October to Sunday 18th October.
Scaffolding has appeared round the stone grotto in the garden of Coseners House. The work will make the grotto safe to use. The grotto has two chambers, and an external staircase and lookout. I do not know who or why it was built but my guess is that it was a 19th century folly.
Work is progressing on the new Kingfisher Canoe Club storage and changing hut.
A new information board has appeared at the Wildflower Maze in the Abbey Grounds. The maze has been cut back for the winter. The little stacks give a place for some wildlife to spend the winter.
Work continues on the Route 5 cycle path through the Abbey Grounds.
The narrow, bumpy, muddy track is being widened and evened out and made less muddy.
We are at the height of the summer holidays. Thursday was hot. Friday was hotter. Today, Saturday, was milder but there was sunshine.
Somebody told me the Aldi had a special offer on inflatables. On the River Thames in Abingdon people are paddling about in inflatable canoes and on paddle boards, more than ever.
There are lots of larger boats moored in the meadows above and below Abingdon Bridge this evening.
Some are moored closer to the bridge than the notices allow. Others cannot find a place.
The new owners of the Nags Head have spaced tables further apart this year, and cater for the boaters as well as town people.
We walked out this evening along St Helen’s Wharf in Abingdon. The wharf was in shadow apart from where a low wall let the sunlight through.
Along Wilsham Road we saw the first fast moving rowing boat we had seen since the start of the lockdown.
It was a Sunday evening and there were not many cars parked – just the usual line of fibreglass boats with tarpoulines.
At Abingdon Marina a parent swan was guarding three cygnets. They were all busily preening themselves and not posing for the camera. Preening is a bird’s way of grooming its feathers to keep them in the best condition.
A lot more boats were moored at the Marina.
We walked round the Marina Park and looked across the River Thames to where Swift Ditch ends. There is an elegant wooden bridge put there for the Thames Path.