Last night we ate at The Globe pub that sits almost on top of Snarestone tunnel. It has changed hands recently and doesn't have a web site yet, but has several well deserved reports on Trip Advisor. We had two very nice meals and they also had 3 beers on the pumps.
10 am and we are away through the slightly twisty Snarestone tunnel heading for the end. On the way we passed a field where the straw bails caught my eye. We stopped at the old terminus of the Ashby Canal to fill with water. Members of the Ashby Canal Association were loading their trailer with stuff to sell at the Shackerstone Festival this weekend. Diana took a box full of jigsaws off their hands. The swing bridge across the canal is a private bridge owned by the Association so it has to remain locked and not for public use, however the Association are quite happy to open it so that boaters can travel to the new end of navigation just under bridge 62, also boaters are permitted to use it to cross to the rubbish facilities and moorings. The last winding point is just behind us when we filled with water so boats continuing down the canal to bridge 62 have to reverse back. Not really a problem with the timber topped piling if you cant get it right. WRG have just had a work camp down here building the bridge, all the bricks were found in the canal from the old bridge but beneath them its a modern construction. The scaffolding should come down in a couple of week when boats will be able to go slightly further under the bridge. maybe we will have to come back. Once back at the old terminus we winded and headed back through the tunnel only to catch up with a pair long lining. We were hoping there were only going as far as Shackerstone as their top speed was only 2½ MPH. When we did finally get to Shackerstone they stopped in front of us on the aqueduct completely blocking the canal to breast up and then very slowly made their way down to their allotted mooring for the weekend. When all the moored boats are breasted up there will be very little room for passing boats as can be seen from this photograph, the wooden barrier on the off side is to protect the reeds as the canal here is part of a SSSI. I hope they have someone on traffic control as there will be no passing place on this section. As we passed the pair as they were tying up we didn’t even get a by your leave for the inconvenience caused to us or the boat following us.
We were to see two Water vole as we made our way along the canal, we normally see at least one when we come down here, but getting a photograph is something else. When we reached Bridge 41, the one that WRG have been working on the other side, you can see this side needs some TLC as well.
I expected to meet lots of ex working boats today making their way to the festival but I only met two, one running light and this one, Crane, was fully loaded, it may have been a straight part where I met him but it was narrow and he really needed to keep well to the channel with the water he would be drawing. A little earlier and we would have been on the bend, later it would have been a bridge hole.
We had planned to go as far as The Lime Kilns at Hinckley where the A5 crosses the canal tonight as we were meeting a friend for dinner, however this mornings visit to the terminus and the return to Shackerstone took longer than planned so we decided to stop at Stoke Golding. We were luck to get the last mooring space right on the bend. We had not been her long when Mark on Callisto came by on his coal and gas run. After a walk into town we decided that we would eat at the Swan mainly because it was the closest, but I must say it was not a bad choice with good sized portions, no large portions of home cooked food.