Friday, 28 November 2014


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Seems that there are many more boats moored here now four abreast by the turning point and double breasted almost down to B66. Good job nothing was approaching when we squeezed through!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cruising on.

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Some idyllic scenes we found along the way.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


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What a great time of year with mainly just us with other live-aboard boaters moored nearby. Of course there are some boats that are moved from place to place every fourteen days that are left unoccupied. There are some really lovely walks all around this area too. Luckily I’ve always got my little camera in my pocket at the ready.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

All Oaks Wood.


Ahh, for a few days spent in the peace and quiet of the Brinklow countryside. With the exception of banging from distant fireworks in the evenings. We braved the elements to venture out to the small shop in the village for some milk, which blew the cobwebs away. This is a popular spot as we managed to creep into the last spot among the six boats already moored up. The Cabin Boy makes a brilliant cheese and herby toasted sandwich, perfick for a cold windy day!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Onto the Oxford Canal.

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Mark came by bringing much needed coal and diesel for us, so we topped up with water too, all essentials on board now. As we had a mild patch of weather we let the Squirrel go out and we were down to our last few nuggets of coal, so hurrah for wb Calisto! There was a nice clear sky which meant we were in for a chilly night aboard. Next day we stoked up the Squirrel and away we went with the chimney smoking like a big fat cigar at the front of the boat.

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I went ahead to prepare the lock with the Cabin Boy bringing Oakfield around the sharp turn under the bridge steadily in one go and straight into the lock.

Sunday, 9 November 2014


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My maternal Grandmother’s Brother ( my Great Uncle )  joined up for WW1 as a Private in the Infantry. He spent four years in New Zealand ( presumably training ) where he joined the Canterbury Regiment, returning to England in August stationed at Salisbury for a few weeks. He then proceeded to France where he met instantaneous death on September 29th. His Officer wrote to my Aunt saying “He met his death very suddenly while they were in the reserve lines by a shell exploding right beside him!”.He was buried on the outskirts of Ypres overlooking the battlefield in 1917, he was 34 years old. I wonder how may made the month long trip to train in New Zealand  as he did? In the end, such a waste of so many young lives. I would have liked to have known him.

1914-18 George F Melinda Ellen m1915Ra

My paternal Grandfather also joined in the WW1 effort and went over in The Somme area as with the Royal Engineers as a Sapper ( I think this involved much digging etc ) From the postcards he sent home he travelled around to several places in France and saw  devastation in the cities and all around. He got married here in 1915 and I think he was involved in France until c1918. When my Father was to join for WW2 he asked him for his advice, which was, ‘Don’t join the Army son’. He reckoned too much hard work and marching about for miles had ruined his feet and legs which he suffered badly with until the end. However this didn’t stop him from doing his gardening on his hands and knees. His work back home involved manual labour too. I remember he fell off long ladders several times, but always recovered. He definitely had his nine lives!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Hawksbury Junction.

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Just past Bridge 14 leading up to Bedworth, the old Navigation Inn which had suffered a fire, is now a very impressive residence. Sunday lunch was excellent in the cosy popular Greyhound Inn, so was the pudding. Someone has a lot of brass and copper to shine in there!

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I heard the familiar sound of a Bolinder engine slowly approaching the junction. It was Kangaroo carrying bulk loads of coal etc to deliver down the Oxford Canal. I was just lurking around taking photos and offered to do the stop lock gates for him. So he took the rare chance to polish his brasses while the boat idled in. Then he washed his hands in the canal, thanked me and off he went! The buses are every ten minutes from just down the road into Coventry so we spent a day there. We discovered a lovely timber framed building with intricate carving down a side alley. Built as a Hospital with an endowment from William Ford the Almshouses surround a narrow courtyard. It suffered damage in an air raid in 1940, so was rebuilt with original timbers in 1951-53, luvly jubbly.

Sunday, 2 November 2014



This is a poem I picked from a canal side installation at Polesworth. What a shame I had to enhance on my computer it in order to read it. (click to enlarge)  Anyway it’s legible now all about local industrial history and I think it is imaginatively written. We moored at Nuneaton for a couple of days as we met up in the town with our friends Graham and Betty for a meal together. They updated us on their activities as landlubbers and it seems that their renovation work is never ending. It was great to see them again to have a natter over lunch, but no photos taken as it was rather wet and gloomy.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


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Up, up and away to the top of Atherstone Locks we went meeting one man and his little dog en-route. He had a useful long handled grabber device for dealing with his doggie poo. Near the top we had the friendly assistance of two chatty lockkeeper's. One of then was interested in his local history and told me that a stained glass window had been dug up recently at Merevale Hall. This had been buried by the Monks of the Abbey for safe keeping donkey’s years ago,

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We stopped at The Anchor Inn at Hartshill for a superb roast lunch carvery with all fresh vegetables, perfick. Then it was on into a more peaceful spot to moor up overnight. No light pollution or traffic noise to be heard, luvly jubbly. I watched three of the farmers plough, seed and disc harrow (?) an extremely large field which took them all day. Future history recorded right here! We like this isolated old telephone pole which used to have quite a large number of lines attached to it. Robins are such inquisitive little creatures, I like the way in which they watch you quite boldly from their perch nearby.