Tuesday, 31 July 2007

History lesson.

Still moored above Osney lock.

This morning was another late start, this sleeping in business is becoming a bad habit. However the day is fine with clear blue skies. The river appears to have dropped marginally overnight but there is still a very strong flow.

I went for a walk this morning to the marina to deposit what we had pumped out last night. That was my exercise for the day as it was the best part of a mile.
While outside chatting to the neighbours Ray the lock keeper came by with news that the red boards MAY be down graded to yellow by the end of the week. He was going to check the sluice on what they call Castle Mill stream next to the jail. This stream is the original course of the river Isis and back in the 1700’s it used to get blocked by rubbish and dead animals. Even these days the lock keepers still have trouble with supermarket trolleys, bikes and unwanted household appliances being dumped there and blocking the sluice.
At Osney there used to be a monastery and it is believed that the monks dug what is now the Thames from the Botley road bridge to the Osney lock. Osney lock was built by the inmates of Oxford prison at the princely sum of £700. The EA staff has been out with their monitoring gadgets just up stream from where we are moored and report that the river is flowing at 1.5 feet a second so for any of you mathematicians out there what’s that in MPH or Knots?
Opposite Osney lock is the shell of a large building which used to be a flour mill. It apparently burnt down in 1949 and what out buildings remain useable is what is now Osney Marina .There are still bits and pieces of the old mill machinery inside some of the buildings to this day.

The other building opposite our mooring with its very ornate brickwork used to be a power station. The locals used to come and bathe in the hot water from the cooling discharge pipe. These days part of the building is being used as an industrial research centre.

I have just returned from a wee stroll to find that one of the pigeon chicks has found his wings and is now perched on a window ledge above the nesting hole. We have been watching mum and dad pigeon flying down to the hole but not feeding the chicks so we guess they were trying to encourage the chicks (squabs as they are known) to leave.

1 comment:

BigJohn said...

Thanks for all the updates Derek.

According to Google,
1.5 feet per second converts to
1.02272727 mph
0.888725702 knots
1.64592 kph

Safe travels