Tuesday 17 October 2023

Home mooring

Another late start with more carpet fitting, doors open both ends of the boat as the glue really stinks until you have a carpet on it. We couldn’t finish the job as one piece of carpet got left in the car.
We finally set off at about 11 am. and went the short distance to Grendon Wharf to dispose of things. Once sorted it was a steady run back to Alvecote  where we moored canal side and I collected the rest of the carpet from the car, that was this afternoons project. I am pleased to report the lounge area is now finished. We chugged along in the warm sunshine, not as cool as a couple of days ago but the leaves are definitely falling.DSCF8559

The in thing at the moment seems to be skeletons on boats, I think we saw three this morning with human and animal skeletons onboard.DSCF8560

I remember coming through the old swig bridge 50a years ago and there was nothing more than a caravan perched on the side of the railway embankment   and the canal was twice as wide as it is today leading to the railway bridge. How its all changed over the past few years with gabion walls and timber buildings



New stable blocks and a large warehouse type building complete with a row of shipping containers


Coming through Polesworth the canal is edged by concrete block, not unusual, but what we both found strange the the moss growth on the top which is uniform the full length and only growing on about the front 6”. Its almost like its a design feature. DSCF8565

We carried on to just past bridge 59 almost opposite the Samuel Barlow pub where we stopped for lunch and I walked to the car to collect the last bit of carpet for the lounge. Around half three we discussed what to do, I have to be home Friday for a hospital appointment. In the end we decided just to go straight into the marina and then head off home in the morning, I think we may have had the best of the weather.
Something new for you, a Google map of the full trip, by clicking the map or HERE to get it full screen


Today’s Journey image 

5miles with no locks in 2 hours

Monday 16 October 2023

Bradley Green

The temperature last night dropped to 0.7°C so we were rather pleased that I fired the Dickinson stove up yesterday
A very late start today 11-30 as I had some carpet fitting to do first, The adhesive says outside or in well ventilated areas so it was doors wide open. I couldn’t finish the job as we ran short of adhesive, so we headed off to Atherstone to try to source some more. It was quite a slow run to the locks as just as we were about to set off another  boat came slowly passed. I just love some of the gardens above Atherstone locks, what the owners doDSCF8557Also what nature does, these swans and ducks looked more than happy on someone’s lawn.DSCF8558The boat we were following pulled over and we carried on to the top lock where 2 Volockies and a few others set the top lock for us, there were also a couple doing litter picking. We went down 5 locks, meeting a lady Volockie at lock No.3 before mooring to try to find more adhesive, two carpet shops but no luck, then the Toolbox, one of those emporiums that has every thing you want and a few you don’t. Of course they had it, they even had a choice of makes. Job done and back to the boat. We had lunch while we were moored up before setting off down the rest of the locks. On our way down we met a pair coming up at lock 8, this was the second pair of the day as a pair of Bywater hotel boats passed while I was carpet fitting. Once we cleared the locks we moored for the night and I refitted and filled the lounge radiator.

Today’s Journeyimage

4 Miles, 11 locks in 2¾ hours

Sunday 15 October 2023


What a cracking morning, the air temperature dropped to 1.3°C outside last night and there may even have been a touch of ground frost so the boat was rather chilly when we got up. Out side the sun was warm and clear blue sky, not a breath of wind as we set off at our normal 10am start. It took us just an hour to reach Marston Junction where we turned right onto the Coventry canal. Passing the new huge distribution hub or what ever it is there is now a housing estate growing up on the opposite side. Not much to see at present but give it 12 months.DSCF8552

As we passed under, I think it was bridge 18 I spotted this Ordinance Survey datum mark, I saw a couple down the Ashby canal as well. With the amount of subsidence around these parts I wonder how accurate they are today.DSCF8554

Passing through Nuneaton we saw an old friend Peter in his canal side garden so passed a few pleasantries with him. We met about 25 years ago going down the Trent. One of the gardens in Nuneaton seem to be adding to their eclectic collation of garden ornaments.DSCF8555

Our planned stop for today was the Anchor Pub for Sunday lunch and exactly 3 hours after setting off we arrived and moored right outside the pub. We were very lucky to get a table, the next couple to ask got turned away. I can honestly say I have never has a Sunday lunch like it, a bed of mash potato with sliced beef on top, a giant of a Yorkshire Pudding, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes, Parsnip and stuffing, the rest of the veg were in a separate dish and a jug of gravy. Not only that but the staff were so friendly and helpful. image


We moved on after lunch as we needed water, once the tank was full it was just a few hundred yards up the canal to moor for the night.

Today’s Journeyimage

9¼ miles and no locks in 3¾ hours

Saturday 14 October 2023

Burton Hastings

Well after yesterdays rain and a crystal clear night with loads of stars we woke to sunshine but a cool breeze. At 6am this morning the outside temperature was down to 6°C much more inline with what it should be. If you read the comments on yesterdays blog you will see that Paul quite rightly pointed out there are 3 pairs of lock gate plus the single gated stop that we passed through yesterday on this canal, I don’t expect I will be boating long enough to take our boat through those locks.

We were away at ten with more boats on the move today in the sun than yesterday in the rain, we stopped at Ashby Boats to top up with diesel before carrying on our way.
We stopped at mid day almost opposite the Triumph factory, firstly for lunch, but more importantly i painted some of the internal paint work ready for when I fit then new carpet. Once that was sorted we were off again, we were going to stop for water at the A5 but a chap was just leaving the long term moorings to reverse down to the water point so we left it for him, however we did stop very briefly to photograph the sign about the rubbish disposal.DSCF8551

We carried on for another hour and a quarter mooring opposite the long term moorings at Burton Hastings fishing lakes. For some reason there are only 6 boats moored here at the moment so I don’t know what is happening to them.

Today’s Journey image

8¼ miles, no locks in 3¼ hours

Friday 13 October 2023

Sutton Cheney

The weather forecast said it would be dry this morning so I suggested setting off before breakfast, mistake, it was raining so we decided to wait until it stopped a a little after 10-30 am before setting off. Mike  and a lady ACA member helped us through the single lock gate and waved farewell to us. I might just as well set off early because almost immediately it started to rain. A short way before the tunnel we passed a Pumpkin pyramid, I guess they are all for sale, there are even a couple of orange straw bails.DSCF8540

Then it was into the tunnel, when we came through yesterday I was aware of some brambles hanging down over the tunnel mouth, so as we exited I stopped and trimmed them off.DSCF8546

The weather was between thick musty drizzle and pelting it down with rain, I fund a golf brolly very good in this situation. I was rather taken by the art work on this boat we passed. Maybe not totally PC today.DSCF8548

So far I have seen three old Seagull Outboard engines on dinghies on this canal, these were made from 1931 up until 1996, I don’t know how old these ones were.DSCF8550

I had in my mind to moor for the night at Sutton Wharf, it was empty when we came past two days go. As we approached the rain stopped, that would make tying up a bit more pleasant, but when we got there there were already three boats on the moorings, so no room for us, we carried on for another ten minutes of so passed the long term moorings and found a nice deserted length of piling to attach our chains to.

Today’s Journey image

11 miles, half a lock in 4¼ hours

Thursday 12 October 2023

Snarestone Restored section Ashby Canal

It was a little after 10 when we got away as we took a walk with the new Owl estate opposite where we were moored. The houses and bungalows look very smart and up market at ¾ million pounds.
This morning was dry but a bit cooler than yesterday. We hadn’t gone to far when we came across a group or ramblers, we often see groups on the towpath now.DSCF8524

We met several boats as we chugged along at around 3 mph. through the SSSI to Shackerstone, her I spotted this little boat sitting up on the stocks, I have seen similar in Holland.DSCF8525

There were a lot less moored boats than normal in the area, I think there were only two on the visitor moorings in the village.
As we approached Snarestone tunnel there was a boat backing out and mooring up, he hadn’t taken his exhaust down so we carried on into the dark.DSCF8529

It was then down to the only lock gate on the Ashby Canal with the Ashby Canal Association railway signal to great us. As we winded  we noticed DSCF8532

volunteers working on the towpath, these turned out to be the CRT volunteer task force carrying out some resurfacing. We reversed down to the stop lock/bridge where after another barrow load of ballast was heaved over some members of the Ashby Canal Association kindly opened the gate so we could reverse through.  DSCF8533

We then reversed all the way down to the end of the restored section, its an easy task as there are no shallow edges to catch you out and its quite wide.

I don’t expect I will still be boating when the canal gets restored to Moira, restoration is not being helped by the delay in handover of the route to the Canal Association from the Leicestershire County Council which should have happened in 2017, Today there is a petition urging this handover to take place, please visit Petition · Ashby Canal Restoration · Change.org and sign it to make your views known.
There is a winding hole at the end beyond the finalDSCF8534bridge but its not big enough for a 57 footer to get round but the run back is even easier. On the way IMG_2540back we passed the old pump house on the off side, now a private residence. There is a large interpretation board on the towpath giving more information.DSCF8538

We decided to moor for the night just before the stop lock on the restored section, this is a 48hr mooring managed by the Ashby Canal Association on a non CRT waterway.

Today’s Journey image

7¾ miles  with half a lock in 3¼ hours

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Market Bosworth

We had quite a bit of rain overnight and this morning, although dry looked very overcast and threatening, so no paint on the treated rust patches today. We were off at our normal 10am and were surprised to find 3 boats moored ahead of us, last time we looked out it was only two, so someone came late last night or early this morning. We stopped at the water point by the A5 bridge, while we were there I picked up some litter thinking there was a litter bin, but it was 2 dog poo bins, however there was a CRT notice for the nearest rubbish disposal and there is one in the car park of the Navigation Inn, right beside the A5 bridge. In all the years I have come down this canal I never knew that, so Diana took ours and the picked up rubbish over the bridge, job done. There use to be a dog kennel and run on the end wall of the pub on the small piece of land between the building and the canal, its recently been demolished leaving this antique sign.DSCF8522Its good to see that something is happening to this property on the Offside a short way before the Ashby boat company, it has looked derelict for a long time, it now looks as if the old workshop and out buildings are being made into a house.DSCF8523

We carried on and about half twelve it started to rain, not heavily and we also caught up with a hire boat so when we came to a good mooring I pulled over for lunch, well I can’t hold a brolly and the tiller as well as eat my diner. We stayed put for about an hour and a half until the rain had stopped before carrying on to Market Bosworth for the night, mooring just before the water point opposite the new housing development.

Today’s Journey image

10½ miles with no locks in 4½ hours

Tuesday 10 October 2023

Ashby Canal bridge 13/14

Last night we ate at Jinseon Korean BBQ restaurant where you BBQ your own meal on a BBQ let into your table.
This morning we followed our normal Coventry routine. A full English at Playwrights  followed by a visit to Rudens Latvian shop to buy preserved fish, cheese and biscuits and then Gorety’s Portuguese shop for freshly made cakes.
We had planned to set off at 1030 ish as soon as we had the cakes, however at 1040 the still weren't open so we set off and two things happened, a boat reversed out of the other arm and started to wind, also the shop opened so we slid back to our moorings and bought cakes.
By the time we set off through bridge one the otherDSCF8515

boat was long gone, but unfortunately we soon caught them up and followed them all the way to Hawkesbury Junction.   I managed to pick up the shopping trolley that I spotted on the way and carried it on the back deck until we reached the junction and dropped it off at the rubbish point.DSCF8516

One of the bridges we passed under has been painted with a large mural of swans, even so people have put graffiti on parts of it.DSCF8517

I think it may be a bit busy in Coventry Basin tonight as we met 6 boats heading that way between the basin and the junction including a small butty.
After we off loaded the trolley we carried on to Marston Junction having a quick word with friends as we passed. I thought I would just post a photo of Charity Dock drydock entrance as not many people have ever seen it.DSCF8520It wasn’t long before we turned down the Ashby Canal where we bumped into more friends on their boat, so another short chat. We didn’t really have a mooring in mind for tonight so just chugged along on the way having a Water vole swimming across our stern.DSCF8521

We decided to call it a day just before bridge 14 where there is a nice length of piling.

Today’s Journeyimage

13 miles with no locks in 5 hours

Monday 9 October 2023

Coventry Basin

For come reason we were a little late getting away today, don’t know why, we were up at our normal time. Not much movement before we left but we did manage to meet a boat in the congestion around boot wharf with double moored boats on the offside and more boats moored on the towpath so no room for boats to pass unless they pulled into gaps. Just through the bridge the Hargreaves was waiting to take on passengers, this is an electrically powered trip boat. 
The end of the transport hub just through Nuneaton is unrecognisable from what we there last time we passed with the end now totally enclosed in glass.DSCF8511

Just before the Ashby Canal this bollard is all that is there to show a sunken cruiser, as you pass slowly by you can just make out the shape of the bows below the surface, where the rest is , is anyone's guess.DSCF8513

At Marston Junction we carried on along the Coventry, maybe we will go up the Ashby on our way back. At Charity Wharf you could actually see the planks in the dry dock, an unusual sight. Down to Hawkesbury Junction where Diana dropped off the recycling and then down the Coventry Canal to Coventry Basin, we met 3 boats between Hawkesbury and the basin so were confident of finding a spot. I have never noticed so many coconuts floating in the canal, mainly at the Hawkesbury end, no great problems with rubbish but did spot a trolley, I will try and lift it on my way back.
Its not often you get to take a photo of the shadow of tour boat on the underside of a bridge.DSCF8514There was a CRT notice about a tree down and also a cyclist warned us about it, but there was nothing in the water like that when we came down.
When we arrived at the basin the right hand North) arm was full so I winded and dropped back down the left hand one. No sooner had we tied up than one of the boats left the right hand arm, so we shuffled round, its slightly further from the road noise.

For those of you that use “listen again” on the BBC Harnser made radio 4 yesterday morning Tweet of the Day - Samuel West on the Grey Heron - BBC Sounds enjoy.

Today’s Journeyimage

11 miles with no locks in 4 hours

Sunday 8 October 2023


A couple of boats went by in each direction this morning and when the next one came down we set off at about ten to ten. We had mixed luck with the locks and all the boats nicely spaced so no queuing, that is until lock four and then it snarled up. It seems that a TV celebrity was filming at the top lock and that was holding people up. CRT have put up a couple of new signs, I think it to stop people walking straight over the drop at the end of the locks, the only thing is, with the gates open walkers wont see the signs.DSCF8495
Someone has left some tubs of flowers by one of the bridges, I wonder if they will just die or someone will take them?


The Rothen Group look as if they are building some new work boats as there is one full length boat on its side, don’t know if its new or old and a couple ofDSCF8500 ends up on jacks. It also looks as if they have now acquired Aldridge which is moored up on their wharf.


We had planned to top up with water at the top lock but Robbie was there with his hose out so we continued on to Hartshill to fill there, while we wereDSCF8506

waiting for the hire boat to leave the water point Jason came through the bridge on his old working boat  BargussDSCF8505

Once watered up we carried on to the outskirts of Nuneaton and stopped just through Tuttle Hill bridge, I wanted to make a start treating the rust on the roof. I had planned to take all the paint off for about 4 foot but as we were right opposite houses I limited the use of the disk to the worst rust patches and then treated and primed them. I hadn’t been finished long when one of the houses started pressure washing, i wish I had carried on with the noise of the sanding disk. Eventually we decided to move, the freight trains were rattling past just a bit to close so we up sticks and carried on for another 20 minutes mooring opposite the playing field.

Today’s Journeyimage

7 miles, 9 locks in 5 hours