Friday, 3 August 2007

Blenheim Palace.

Still moored above Osney lock.

Today we were invited to join Ron and Enid from n/b Tonic on a trip to Blenheim Palace which we accepted as we felt we needed a day away from the constant noise of the river. The bus trip to Woodstock was great sitting in the front seats on the top deck. I had to remind Dot that she didn’t need to duck as we passed under overhanging trees.

It was a most enlighting tour to see how through the 1st Duke of Marlborough, (John Churchill) not having an heir apparent got a parliamentary decree to allow his daughter to inherit the title. This was the beginning of the end as the Spencer family (Princess Diana’s family) eventually took over the title. Sir Winston S Churchill of WWII fame was born at Blenheim Palace and the letter “S” in his name was Spencer.

As in any stately home the furniture, paintings, tapestries, dinner service sets and gilt ceilings were magnificent and mind boggling as to their value and age.

Back at Osney we can report that the surviving pigeon chick is doing well and has now crossed the abyss by flying across to a roof on the opposite bank. He now has to fly to the adult birds if he is to get food otherwise he goes hungry.

While out with Ron and Enid, Ron told us how he had designed and had built his narrowboat 16 years ago. Even the steel work was done to his design which is quite unusual. He fitted it out himself in Elm timber and spent several years doing it. A couple of years ago he re-powered it with a new Thorneycroft when attempts to overhaul the old BMC failed. This high spec boat will be up for sale at the end of the year with a recent survey report so if anybody is interested in a very well maintained 45ft live aboard boat send us an email and we will pass it on to Ron.

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