Friday, 24 October 2014

Atherstone.

IMG_7781a IMG_7782 Narrowcraft Yard IMG_7784

The ‘Gongooselers’ all lined up to watch us cruise past today! Further on we passed Narrowcraft Boatyard and either the end building has fallen down, or some renovations are underway at last. There are usually some old boats to see here, this time Northolt and Saturn were among them.

IMG_7786 Atherstone IMG_7789 IMG_7787a IMG_7795a

New lock gates were awaiting delivery by boat to be fitted as we went into the bottom lock of the Atherstone flight. After ascending our sixth lock we moored up, so we were within easy walking distance of the town. There is a long main street with narrow cobbled lanes leading off from it. Some interesting old buildings line a square and the church with a pleasing octagonal tower overlooks it. An ancient milestone in the main street marks that it is 100 miles to London. I have seen a variety of different ladybirds lately and this one was hibernating in the lock paddle gearing.

Polesworth.

IMG_7769  IMG_7770  IMG_7774 Glascote

The gales had ceased by morning and the sky looked promising so off we went to moor at Fazeley Junction overnight. Next day we ascended the two Glascote locks which were both in our favour, then filled with water at the top.

IMG_7779 IMG_7776 Polesworth IMG_7778

Then it was a short pleasant cruise on along to moor at Polesworth with the autumnal colours opposite. In the afternoon I walked into the village around the old remains of the Abbey. I managed to get into the church to looked at the stained glass, but didn’t see anything worth photographing.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rocking and rolling.

IMG_7764 Streethay Wharf  IMG_7766  IMG_7765 Tamhorn Parka

As we passed Streethay Wharf the lovely Ethel was resting her’ But’ next to her towing boat. Stormy weather had been forecast so we moored in an open spot by Tamhorn Park and tied up securely. I am not keen on being near trees, as a few have been blown down lately. Too windy for us to travel, but for those on hire boats etc have to continue. A dozen or so past us, but managed to avoid hitting us luckily, by not slowing down. The sky was blue with bright sunshine, then grey with horizontal rain intermittently all day. Here we sat cosy and warm, reading books, surfing the waves and the internet!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

From T&M to Coventry Canal.

IMG_7755a IMG_7758 IMG_7759

The farmers came to harvest the Maize crop with a fearsome machine sporting four sharp rotary cutters on the front. Everything was finely shredded and shot into the trailer towed by the tractor alongside, easy. Oakfield had been moored behind Mal Edwards MBE aboard his boat ‘Becky’. He had been sitting out on the towpath most days transforming rope into fenders which he sells from his boat, a very busy person indeed. We slipped our mooring early-ish saying our goodbyes and left Mal alone with his phone. I walked down to do the locks, then on to open the swing bridge for Oakfield to stop on the water point. Apparently there has been some miss-use of the bridge, so soon it will have to be kept locked shut, a shame, but this may have to happen everywhere eventually.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fradley Junction.

IMG_7729 IMG_7725 Fradley Junction IMG_7734

Day one we toddled off down the locks to brunch at the popular cafe in the C&RT yard which was warm and welcoming. It seems that it must have become busier as four people are working there now. We also tried out the snacks available at the Kingfisher Cafe which is part of the nearby caravan site. Shadehouse (the big white building top right is for sale) and Canal & River Trust were in the process of tarmacking the road from here down to The Swan Inn.

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The walk around the lake was enjoyable as there are a few interesting features, including a hide and Dragonfly sculpture seat. We contacted Graham and Jan to let them know we had arrived, so they took us in their car for a meal in the George and Dragon at Alrewas where we all had a good nonstop natter. Our table was near this fab old kitchen range which got us all reminiscing too. Next day we met them at The Mucky Duck (Swan) for a fantastic roast lunch carvery with all the fresh veg and trimmings. A tad expensive at £10 each we thought, but excellent value as it also included pudding and tea or coffee afterwards, perfick!