Monday, 25 July 2016

Hartshill Monday 25 July 2016

Last time we stopped in Polesworth to eat we had a take a way from Maya Indian Takeaway so I checked on the web to see their opening hours only to find that the Food Hygiene guys had fine them £30,000 in April. There is now another Indian Take a way at the same address called Ratna and they have a rating of 4 which is good, funny thing is they have the same telephone number as Maya. The meal was tasty and a little too much for two of us so we went to bed feeling slightly over full.

This morning the boat moored behind us left well before I intended getting up and several passed before we were ready for the off,  We pushed of at quarter to ten and travelled very slowly to Atherstone where there were 5 boats ahead of us.DSCF4896 Even though we we only doing 2 mph no one caught us up and I worked out if we had left at 11am we would still have cleared the flight at the same time.

One of the boats on the long term moorings below the locks had a solar water heating set up, something you don’t often see on boats but if you don’t run the engine for electricity then often you don’t have hot water.DSCF4895 Strangely I didn’t spot any solar electrical panels on the boat, maybe they were on the bank. A boat we passed later certainly had his fair share of panels on his roof, it was completely covered.DSCF4906  As we waited for our turn at the locks every one ahead of us including us mucked in and helped work the locks, but the hire boat behind us was not so keen to help at first but then did come up to give us a hand. We met a few boats in the flight  but still kept catching the two ahead up in the longer pounds. There is only one lock on this flight that has a working side pond and now CRT has said it mustn’t be used for some reason.DSCF4900

The top three locks had Volockies and at the top lock there was also a meet and greet volunteer who was also lending a hand with the lock. They had a chalk board beside the lock that indicated that 11 boats had been both up and down that lock today. The footbridge across the end of the winding hole is getting a good bashing as people try to wind, Its only just possible to get a 70 foot boat round with the finders lifted because of it. The only need to lift the bridge on a couple of blocks each and and there wouldn’t be a problem as the working boat bows would go underneath it.

Just passed bridge 36 Rothen & Son moor some of their boats, I had not seen one like this there before, the bits sticking out inDSCF4902 front are outriggers that swing to the sides to give the boat more width and stability in use, but they hinge round to the front to pass through narrow locks and bridge holes.

We carried on to moor a short way before Hartshill just beyond bridge 33. There were already a lot of boats moored there but a space after the first on, we didn’t go in the middle but gave a reasonable space after the first one. We had been here about an hour when a longish boat came by looking to moor, he thought he would get in ahead of us, but I could see he wouldn’t make it so we drew back about 6 feet.

Today’s Journeymap 36½ miles, 11 locks in 5¾ hours

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Polesworth Sunday 24 July 2016

Well I really timed it wrong this morning, Just as I was about to unmoor I saw a day boat coming up behind, so thought it wouldn’t be very courteous to pull out in front of them I will wait. As they got closer I realised they were going extremely slowly and I would have had tons of time to leave and when they did pass a second boat came along. The result was that we had a convoy or 5 boats doing 2½ mph from Whittington to HopwasDSCF4892 where it dropped to 4 boats as the boat in front of me got fed up and moored. Every time they met a boat they stopped and I ended up following them all the way to Fazeley where we stopped to visit Hobbycraft. It was a group of ladies on a hen party.DSCF4884 Just before Hopwas there was a tree trunk in the water that had been moored to the bank with loads of blue string, today the string was there but no tree trunk.DSCF4885 We were to find the tree trunk about half a mile closer to Hopwas floating around in the canal, it was to big for us to do anything with so we just had to leave it there.DSCF4886

This mother duck was taking good care of her young ones with them sitting on her feet.DSCF4889 Birds are very resourceful at times as this Wood Pigeon demonstrated by standing on the water dish to reach the seed feeder . DSCF4893

We had a good run through to Tamworth and arrived at the bottom of the Glascote Lock to find no one there and both locks empty, we had just started to go up in the first when 2 boats arrived below the lock, so we timed that right. Diana walked up to get the second one ready for me and a chap off the first boat walked up and helped me at the lock closing up behind me, by the time we were up in the second he was there again on the gate, he explained they had a crew of 4 so he left 3 of them to work the lock while he came ahead. Unfortunately his efforts didn’t speed things up as there was a boat approaching to go down. We carried on to Polesworth passing and waving to a few old friends and new acquaintances on the way. The visitor moorings before Polesworth where full which is quite normal, but what I didn’t expect was the number of boats moored the other side of Polesworth, we are almost down to bridge 51. Last time we were here on the 1st July I reported water bubbling up through the towpath, its still the same today.

Today’s Journey  map 2 11¼ Miles, 2 Locks, 1 Junction in 4¾ hours

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Whittington Saturday July 23 2016

We actually arrived at the boat yesterday afternoon as I had the toilet to rebuild before we could go anywhere. The job went well and I even got it straight when I refitted it, better than last time I had it in bits. Yesterday evening we decided to try the pub in King’s Bromley again, last time we went it was curry night, but the curry was off, it turns out Friday is steak night, 2 steaks with chip, peas, mushrooms and tomato with a bottle of wine for £24. We took our table and listen to another couple trying to order, the waitress said “sorry its off” 3 times before they managed to order, so I wasn’t hopeful. When she came to us I asked if the steak deal was on, but she didn’t know so had to go to find out, yes it was on she said when she came back, so that is what we had. When it arrived we were very pleasantly surprised. It was all lovely, we both had nice pieces of meat, fluffy chips, all hot, I couldn’t fault it, the wine was pleasant as well, so a good result.

This morning I did a bit of internetting looking for a birthday present for No.1 grandson planning to go to Lichfield to buy it, but drew a blank, so at quarter to twelve we set off, leaving King’s Bromley Marina for the last time, we have been here 2 years so its time to move on.I felt a bit sad waving to them at the office as we passed, its been a good mooring.

Out on the canal we turned right heading for Wood End Lock. AtDSCF4872 Bromley Wharf the owner has a couple of rather smart wood stores ready for the winter.
CRT have repaired the ground paddle at Wood End Lock since we were last here but it doesn’t fill much faster. There was one boat waiting to go down when we arrived and one coming up, but we heard tails of woo from the boats we met and by the time we locked down there were three waiting to come up. We arrived at Shade House lock with its Volocky just as the boat ahead was about to go in and at Middle lock we went straight in as a boat came out so not too bad at all.

Walking up the flight was this chap and his inflatable canoe, we think he was heading for Gloucester.DSCF4874

At Fradley Junction we turned right onto the Coventry Canal and stopped at the second water point. In all the time we were there not a single boat came in ether direction. Tank full we pushed off and after about a mile we started meeting boat quite regularly,  one of them was Kelpie with our friends Ian and Ann on board, A very short chat before they were away and another boat was coming. I have only spotted two boundary posts on this canal,DSCF4880 they indicate how much of the off side bank the canal company owned and shows the houses down own to the waters edge.

We carried on to one of our favourite moorings at Whittington, just by the boundary marker between the Coventry and the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. As we were approaching there was another boat moored in the area and while we were mooring several boats came by going north but only one going south, I do wonder how this chap could see where he was going over his flowers.DSCF4883 Today’s Journey  map 1

3 Locks, I junction 2 canals, 1 swing bridge and 8 miles in 4½ hours.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Monday 4 July 2016 Kings Bromley Marina

We set off this morning at quarter to ten in bright sunshine, our first port of call was Kings Orchard Marina to get the toilet tank emptied and the diesel tank filled. I didn’t need much diesel but with the falling pound I expect it to be more expensive  next time we are out. today it was 61p/lt for domestic use. As we made our way up the Coventry Canal we had some magnificent sky’s.DSCF4824

Leaving the marina we pushed on to Fradley Junction where we turned left on the Trent and Mersey Canal, by now the sky was turning all over grey. There was a Volocky at both Middle Lock and Shadehouse Lock. The one at Middle Lock told me I was doing the lock wrong and I should hold the pawl while winding the lock down. We didn’t fall out over it. Shadehouse Lock was slow going and Wood End Lock dead slow with only one top paddle operational.

we arrived back at our mooring just before two o’clock. Once there I started stripping the toilet down, I was hoping just to withdraw the spring cartridge from the side and ended up stripping it right down and bringing part of it home. I hope Lee sanitation can supply the bits. Once that was in bits and packed away it was time for an oil and filter change, only three hours overdue. By now it looked ready to rain and we did get a few spots as we left to drive home.

Today’s Journey  map 86¾ miles, 3 locks, 2 canals, 1 Junction in 4 hours.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Sunday 3 July 2016 Huddlesford

We had a good night in the Samuel Barlow last night, some pulled pork and Doom Bar not forgetting the cheese and bisects and DSCF4801 birthday cake. TG from Narrowboat TG Islonian gave us a knock before they left to tell us what coffees they sell from their boat as they trade around the canals at Floating Markets. We were all set to push off at 10 am when the toilet decided to malfunction, it requires a new spring cassette to reset it after flushing. we can still use it but you have to manually reset it instead of it flying shut. We will pick up a new bit on Monday.

We finally pushed off at 1045 heading back towards our marina. We were to meet a steady stream of boats on the way, our fair share of them at bridges or passing moored boats.

There is yet another garden also adjacent to a bridge who are very keen on their gnomes.DSCF4810 I have only spotted one Canal Company boundary marker along this canal, they indicate how much of the land the canal company owns on the none towpath side, householders often think they own to the waters edge but quite often a narrow strip belonged to the canal company and now CRT. This one is right by the fence.DSCF4819Above Glascote Locks there use to be a pub by bridge called The Anchor, funny enough the bridge is called Anchor Bridge, the pub has now gone and its a Co-op store so we stopped for a few minuets for Diana to visit both shop and cash machine.

Below Glascote Locks this family of swans and Cygnets thought it may be more comfortable to sit on the road in the sun, yes it is shining today.DSCF4813 We stopped very briefly at the CRT offices at Fazeley as they have a recycling point for boaters rubbish, most places its just one big skip.

Passing the other Gnome Land there are a couple of new additions to the clan, these chaps with cloth legs. You can seeDSCF4817 the size of them sitting on the end of a standard house brick. DSCF4818

We carried on in the sun shine, yes it is shining today, its even warm, just passed Huddlesford Junction where we have moored for the night, its a bit close to the railway but being Sunday there will hopefully be few trains overnight.

Today’s Journey  map 7 10¾ miles, 2 locks, 1 junction in 4¾ hours.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Saturday 2 July 2016 Samuel Barlow

This morning we were heading for The Samuel Barlow at Alvecote, we passed there yesterday afternoon, but as the canal is about 25ft wide and we are 57ft long we need to travel in the wrong direction for ¾ hour to turn round.

We left a few minuets after ten, the sun was almost shining and it was not quite raining O and the wind was picking up, a normal summers day.

We passed a stunning field of poppies on the outskirts of Polesworth on the side of a gentle slope with the railway in the background.DSCF4783 Diana winded the boat again and we were soon retracing our path. At Grendon Dock it just shows how boats live on.DSCF4790 Between here and Polesworth there is the home of Polesworth Motocross, a hill racing circuit and they were hard at work preparing the surface, so I expect they will be racing tomorrow.DSCF4799

Also at Polesworth is the old home of Lee and Atkins with a small plaque to show where it was, the land is now all housing.DSCF4800

At this point we pass last nights moorings and continue on for another hour and a quarter to arrive at The Samuel Barlow to help Allen and Debbie on Keeping Up celebrate not only Keeping Up’s 25 birthday but also their ruby wedding anniversary.

Today’s Journey  map 6 6¾ miles in 2¼ hours

Friday, 1 July 2016

Friday 1 July 2016 Polesworth

yesterday afternoon we had groups of young walkers going by, they were training for their DoE bronze Award which they would be doing in two weeks time. A bit of rain overnight but fine this morning.
A have text alerts set up on all my bank accounts and this morning at 8 am I received one from the Halifax, so before we could set off I had to do a bit of on-line banking, this meant it was almost 11 am before we set off.

A steady run down to outside Fazeley Mill Marina where we stopped to fill with water. There is a good crop of mushrooms growing in the marina just behind the water point.DSCF4768

You may remember some time back I reported a sunken boat at Rugley called Voyager and that later we saw it being towed, well today we have seen it again, she is still afloat but very little has been done to make her habitable again. While we were filling with water I took the opportunity to remove some weed from round the propshaft.

Filled with water we carried on to Fazeley Junction and made a sharp right onto the Coventry Canal, I wasn’t long before I did my good deed for the day, just through bridge 75 there was a hire boat floating around the canal so I poled it back to the side and made it secure, I wonder how many boats just pushed past, or were we the first to arrive since it went walkabouts. There were two boats ahead when we reached Glascote Locks, one in each lock and by it was time for us to enter another boat had joined us below. I am pleased to report that the bottom lock now works very well with all paddles doing what they should.
Half way up the flight I noticed this postbox on the tow path, there is no house name or number on it and its not really outside a house. Anyone any idea why its there?DSCF4770 We soon cleared the locks when it started to rain, only a very light shower that didn’t last long, but you have to expect bad weather in July.

We carried on to Polesworth where we have moored on the far side of the village, we didn’t moor close to the villages as it looks as if the towpath is covered with raw sewage.DSCF4776 Almost as soon as we moored it started to rain again, but it didn’t last long and now the sun is out.

Today’s Journey  map 5 8¼ miles, 2 locks, 1 junction, 2 canals in 4¼ hours