Thursday, 31 October 2013


IMG_4763 Stretton Stop IMG_4764 Swing Bridge IMG_4766

Moving off round the junction with one boat ahead of us we waited for another one to exit the stop  lock, then we were through and on our way. There were plenty of boats out cruising today, like us they had probably waited until the storm had passed, Stretton Stop boatyard looked busy with a nice barge out of the water and another in the dry dock. We opened the little swing bridge and two other boats followed us through.

IMG_4767 Brinklow IMG_4769 IMG_4771

Why is it that we always seem to meet boats in the narrowest parts. This boat had first time hirers aboard who bumped off our side and apologised afterwards. I strolled into the village and noticed Brinklow Castle now has an information board explaining what the bump in the field is. I just love this little chocolate box cottage, especially with it’s autumnal colours. Another lovely day cruising!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hawksbury Junction.

IMG_4759            IMG_4761

There seem to be well used 7 day moorings all around the junction, so we stopped to take a breather here for a while. We had been cracking on apace in order to ascend Atherstone locks before they closed in November for refurbishment. Sunday lunch in The Greyhound was good and the place was extremely busy too. FMC Clover came to moor briefly here just as I was walking over the bridge,

IMG_4757 Coventry   IMG_4758 IMG_4772

We had a trip into Coventry to buy some new boots for himself. He found some almost immediately in Blacks and after perusing the shops we had lunch in Wetherspoon’s Flying Standard. What a magnificent timber-framed building it is with such intricately carved wooden gables etc. Why is it that men wait until the soles are hanging off their footwear being leaky and falling apart before they buy new ones? I think it’s the time of year for me to sabotage the slippers again too!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


IMG_4755 Bedworth

The old pub that suffered a fire sometime ago has almost been completely rebuilt. It looks fabulous now with it’s big picture windows and posh conservatory. looks as if it maybe a private residence now  with mooring space on the canal too, lucky people!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sitting tight.


What’s that you say Skip, there’s a storm on the way? We chose an open mooring spot away from any overhanging trees. After nailing the boat firmly to the towpath, battening down the hatches and lighting the squirrel we were ready to sit it out. The Life-ring was taken off the roof and stowed away so that we didn’t lose it.  After all that, the rain and wind wasn’t too bad overnight, but we did enjoy a bit of boat rocking, but not too much!

Friday, 25 October 2013


IMG_4743 L6 IMG_4744 IMG_4745

We left our mooring above lock four early as a boat had come down past us. The locks were all  in our favour then. Until we came to the one but last and the crew of four had turned it against us and their boat was just entering the top lock. So we pulled over and waited for them to descend. As they passed they said it’s all ready for you. So we replied that it had been ready for us before! They seemed quite oblivious to what they had done! Never mind the nice couple who were waiting at the top to come down opened the bottom gates for us to glide in. So for all the thoughtless people afloat their are some really lovely people around as well. Another lovely sunny days cruise, with no locks now for quite a while, phew!

IMG_4747 IMG_4748 old coal wharf IMG_4750nb Kalami

As we came to Hartshill Yard we saw some familiar faces and exchanged a few words with the crew of nb Kalimi who followed us along for a while. We reached Nuneaton, moored up, walked into town, had a snack in Wetherspoon’s, then perused the shops. Popped into Sainsbury's to top up the food cupboards, then back to Oakfield for a restful evening, perfick!

Thursday, 24 October 2013


IMG_4740 below Atherstone IMG_4741 IMG_4742

Before leaving Fazeley we donned all our wet weather gear but it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. We were soon up the two locks at Glascote as we exchanged with another boat coming down. Just look at those blue skies with white fluffy clouds. It did get rather windy though as we approached Atherstone where we moored up overnight. Interestingly Atherstone is exactly 100 miles away from London via Watling Street!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


IMG_4734 IMG_4732 IMG_4738 Streethay

Despite being moored right by the junction every boat negotiated around us without hitting us, There is a nice little wildlife area around Fradley Pool quite close to the canal here. Early morning we slipped through the swing bridge and while we stopped to fill our water tank I walked down to the rubbish bins. The rain was turned on intermittently from then on while we cruised along and the steerer got a bit wet again. As we passed by Streethay Wharf we spotted ‘Granny Buttons’ hiding among the other boats.  Several boats were out cruising and luckily we met them in easy passing places. We carried on to tie up  on some rare 7 day moorings, just before the junction at Fazeley.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


IMG_4723             IMG_4724             IMG_4725

Just as we were togging up to leave Rugeley on a rainy days cruising we heard a big engine above us. This is what we saw when we emerged from the boat. A very narrow lane runs along the embankment above the canal towpath. The wheels of the crane had run off the side of it into the soft muddy edge and it had tipped over at a jaunty angle.

IMG_4726 IMG_4729

Needless to say we didn’t hang about to see what happened, but cruised off into the rain. On reaching Fradley Junction we turned left onto the Coventry Canal to moor on the 24hr space. The Squirrel was fired up to dry everything out, then we put our feet up for a while all cosy with warm drinks and a snack, perfick,

Monday, 21 October 2013


IMG_4711 Milford B 105 IMG_4714 IMG_4716 Tixall Wide

Again we left fairly early and were glad that we had the whole canal to ourselves. Just after we crept by yet another sunken boat, two boats passed us going the opposite way. Another boat was waiting to ascend Tixall Lock, but as it was in our favour they kindly helped us go down. Approaching Tixall Wide a very smoky boat pulled out in front of us and proceeded to turn around to head off in front of us. We had to hover while he manoeuvred and not even a gesture of thanks afterwards either. We turned right at Great Haywood Junction and three of us going down the next lock exchanged with three going up, so no waterwas wasted!

IMG_4717 Colwich Lock Oct 2013       IMG_4718       IMG_4719

Our next lock was Colwich and a local man and his dog helped us with that one too, amazing!

IMG_4721 Old Mill still for sale IMG_4722 IMG_4720 Rugeley Tesco Oct 2013

It had been another nice dry autumnal cruise when we arrived at Rugeley. The old mill by the canal still looks unloved and remains for sale at £1.200.000. We moored a little further on and went into town to peruse the shops and go to Morrisons and Wilkinsons. I also went to the new Tesco which is right next to the canal and had been opened about three weeks. As I hurtled down the approach to it I felt I should have achieved lift off at the end of it! Although the access from the canal has not been upgraded at all. However the lane over the canal bridge has been pedestrianized. Rugeley A+B Power Statins can be seen steaming away to the right of my picture, Twas a cool Sunday and people were probably cooking their lunch. Not us though, as once again I dragged the Cabin Boy off to treat me to lunch in Wetherspoons, luvly jubbly.

Sunday, 20 October 2013


IMG_4707 Gailey IMG_4708 IMG_4710

Our first lock of the day was Gailey passing by the Roundhouse Shop before it opened. Some of the locks hereabouts had nice flat beams which are so comfortable when you’re leaning back against them to open the gate. Here we are passing under Lynehill Bridge 83 approaching Penkridge. It was lunchtime so we moored up and had a snack and I walked to the Co-op and Bakers Shop. Then we cracked on down Penkridge Lock and pootled on along to moor at Baswich. Today we exchanged locks with a shiny nb Ebony, a 522 reg number having it’s first week out on the water!

This was one of our longer cruising days, a total of 10 miles, 11 locks in 6 hours taking  an hour off at midday.

Saturday, 19 October 2013


IMG_4697 Sunrise by B8    IMG_4698 B2 Autherley    IMG_4701

We stayed aboard on our mooring near Bridge 8 reading and listening to the radio while a storm raged outside all day. The next day there was a golden sunrise across the fields while we were having breakfast. Several boats passed by before we untied and joined them on a such a beautiful morning. We passed under Bridge 2 a turnover bridge, then up through the stop-lock at  Autherley Junction.

IMG_4700                          IMG_4702 IMG_4703 IMG_4705 IMG_4706 narrows Pendeford Rockin

As I stepped back on-board the sun was quite dazzling as we went under the bridge to turn left onto the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal. Very soon we were cruising through the narrows at Pendeford Rockin and on along to moor just short of Gailey