While I was photographing part of the the Kennet and Avon in June this year, I met a family who were having a reunion after 29 years.

I had encountered the family  moored just above Bath Top Lock. They had hired a boat from Foxhangers and ravelled down from Devizes to Bath. I had chatted briefly to Warren in Bath, discovering the Australian connection. Then while photographing the Avoncliff Aqueduct a couple of days Warren recognised me as I wandered along a lane by the Cross Guns pub and called me over to their gathering. They were all in really good spirits – no wonder with the sun shining through an almost cloudless sky and a characterful pub close at hand plus the wonderful canal setting, of course. You can see the merriment in the photo below. (Click on thumbnails for larger views.)

Pictured above from left to right are Melvyn, Julia,Zena,Pat,Susan,Ralph,Ted,Warren.

Ralph, who says he’s a “dinky die Aussie” which I believe means he was born there, has since emailed me with some details:

Zena is the Mum and is 93. What a star! Getting in and out a narrow boat is hard enough for someone half her age!

Pat and Ralph are married and live in Australia.

Julia and Ted live in Elmswell, Suffolk. It is their golden wedding anniversary and that was the reason for the reunion.

Warren has lived in Australia for 45 years, his wife Lyn wasn’t at the reunion as she doesn’t like flying.

Susan and Melvyn are married and live in Wickford, Essex.

As regards the canals,  Julia, Ted, Pat and Ralph have done the Grand Union and Oxford canals and the river Nene up past Peterborough and really enjoyed it. Julia and Ted have also done the Grand Union around Burton-on -Trent and Leighton-Buzzard and the Shropshire Union and have enjoyed it.

Back in Australia Pat and Ralph and Lyn and Warren both have 30 foot boats and enjoy cruising together on the River Murray.

Here is a gallery of photos taken at Avoncliff on the day:

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