Saturday 17 July 2021


As we came through Polesworth, we saw a notice across Bridge 52 – Polesworth Abbey was a 5 minute walk from either Bridge 52 or Bridge 51. Well, for us that's quite a lot of what the boating adventure is about – encountering things you never would in the normal course of events. So we pulled in just after Bridge 51 and set out to find the Abbey.

It would have helped if I'd looked at the map first. Then we'd have known to go downhill from the bridge. Even without the map I should have known. Think "Abbey": river, fishpool, mill, water meadows, etc. Instead I was thinking "city set on a hill" – stupid! So we had a longer walk than necessary, finding our way all around Polesworth until we got there. It was rather impressive from the outside.

It said "Open for private prayer", and we thought we could live with that. But the lock on the door to the North Porch hadn't been told about the notice, so whether the Abbey is as impressive on the inside remains to be seen. That's a shame, because the Christian witness on this spot dates back to Saxon times, and it would have been nice to have seen some of things linking us all the way back to them.

As can be seen, it was a hot day, 30˚ this afternoon, so we were glad to find a shorter route back to the boat. It involved crossing a bridge over the River Anker, and some of the locals were using the facilities to cool off.

We were tempted, but not for long. Back at Erin Mae we found we'd tied up just in front of Liz and Graham (NB Reeve), who are also members of the Boaters' Christian Fellowship. Liz brought out some excellent home-made fruit cake as we brought our multiple glasses of water out to the towpath and sat down for a natter.


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