WEDNESDAY 6TH MAY 2009
After we descended through the Isis Lock, the last one on the Oxford Canal, Old Father Thames welcomed us with bright but breezy conditions. The river is so much wider and initially more daunting than the canals, but we had deployed our anchor and were ready for anything. The locks are equivalent in size to canal double locks, but are in much better order and mainly operated for us by friendly Lock Keeper.
Six miles and three locks later we moored for the day at Swinford Bridge, Swinford so called, as this was a relative safe place for swine to ford the Thames in olden days, as Oxford was to ox. The bridge was built in 1777 and still collects tolls from passing vehicles; you’d have thought that they would have paid for its construction by now, but at 5p a car, maybe not. Our main reason for us to stop here was the proximity of the lovely town of Eynsham. A Benedictine Abbey had made this into a very important market town, and there still remains today, a butcher, a deli and a Co-op, but we would save them for tomorrow.