Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 catchup (while it is still 2015)

I think the last blog left us somewhere near Tamworth (Polesworth) back in the summer. Well, we did move on. We went on to Glascote then took a walk into Tamworth. Unfortunately for me I had a phone call from someone (who was persistent) in wanting me to take up a phone contract with their company. It turned out they use the same EE as I do, but he was adamant that the EE website said I would get at least 3 bars at home. Having lived there for 30 years I know that there is not even enough mobile signal to tell you who your operator is. Bored yet? I was.
The walk around Tamworth was nice, then we walked back to the boat at Glascote. At the junction at Fazeley we turned south onto the Birmingham & Fazeley canal and headed south, down through the Kingsbury water park. Then it was up the Curdworth flight, stopping to have a look at the village and the church before moving on through Curdworth and the turn down to Bordesley Junction.
Judy had it in her mind that there was nowhere to stop between Minworth & Catherine de Barnes so on we went.
Our next stop was Knowle and we stayed a few days. One day we caught a bus into Brimingham, had a look at Gas Street Basin and all the canalia around, the shops etc. We had one of the best curries ever at the old Midland Bank building in Knowle.
Then it was down the Knowle flight to Kingswood Junction. I realised we were heading south far too quickly so a diversion to Stratford-upon-Avon was taken.
The Stratford is a beautiful canal. Stratford-upon-Avon is beautiful too. The lock gear is hard work and most of the bridges are very narrow. Had a couple of lovely nights in SoA basin opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, walked down the Avon and did all the normal touristy things except visiting anything actually related to Shakespeare. Then it was back up the Stratford to Kingswood and down the Hatton flight to Salstisford. The Saltisford basin is a welcoming place and so convenient for a walking trip into Warwick.
Then it was on through Royal Leamington Spa, up Stockton and eventually to Napton Junction. Once on the Oxford we slowed down a bit, Wormleighton, Claydon, Cropredy and down as far as Banbury. I have booked a place for the good ship Constance in Fenny Compton Marina and arrived there in the first week of December. There, caught up!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Polesworth & Tamworth

Early August, Judy & I came to Polesworth for 11 days on Constance. We had a look around Polesworth and walked through the Abby grounds. In the evening we had a meal at 'The Pretty Pigs'
The gatehouse to Polesworth Abbey

The gatehouse to Polesworth Abbey from the inside

Polesworth Abbey
Alvecote Marina

Then we moved into Tamworth and had a look around.

Tamworth Town Centre
Tamworth Castle
Tamworth town centre
Then we moved on towards Fazeley Junction.

July 2015 Hawkesbury to Polesworth

We moved northwards along the Coventry Canal. It is difficult to believe that the canal passes through a major 18/19th Century coal mining area. There is very little to see of it today. At Marston Junction one passes the start of the Ashby Canal. Will save that excursion for another year...
Then past Nuneaton and on the Atherstone. The lock keeping volunteers were most helpful on our way down the Atherstone flight of locks. Spent a couple of nights near Bradley Green, fetched the car from Fenny Compton and went on to Polesworth, from whence we came home.
Some canalside art

Near Bedworth

The starting point for the Ashby canal

Unusual today, but the canals of old would have been lined with these

A seemingly remote marina near Hartshill

The old BW Works

Atherstone Locks

Atherstone Locks

The marina just north of Atherstone

Mum enjoyed herself on holiday

July 2015 A day out in Coventry

As we were staying at Hawkesbury Junction is seemed churlish not to catch the bus into Coventry. There is an excellent bus service from a point about 600yds from The Greyhound. Here are a few pictures of Coventry:
Part of the old Cathedral

Column bases from the old Cathedral

The extent of the excavations

The house to which the sign above applies

The new Cathedral archway

That which was bombed out during WWII

Window of new Cathedral

Lady Godiva statue

July 2015 Rugby to Hawkesbury Junction

The journey from Rugby to Hawkesbury Junction is characterised in part by the later straightening of the early meandering of the original canal route. This has resulted in there being many side, offshoots of the canal. Some are completely dry and unrecognisable but most are short stubs of canal into which boats can moor or marinas can be built.
Side arm at the bottom of the Hilmorton Locks

Across rivers too

Just above Bridge 42

Another river


Side arm

with space for mooring boats

The southern portal of the Newbold Tunnel

Repairs to the bridge

Arriving at Stretton Stop

Side arm at Stretton Stop

Stretton Stop

Some magnificent specimens of Gunnera

Under the M6

The approach to Sutton Stop

Entering the Stop Lock

The Greyhound - we enjoyed a good meal here!

Hawkesbury Junction

Hawkesbury Junction - turning north on to the Coventry Canal