Shenton

Yesterday we travelled five miles to the outskirts of Shenton. Prior to arriving at our destination, we had a brief stop at Bosworth Marina for diesel, and a pump out. As predicted the wind was howling across the Marina, which as relatively new, still does not have any trees or shrubs to act as a wind break. The wind was also blowing, in a direction that did not assist, with our attempts to dock on the services pontoon. On arrival at Shenton we secured the boat, and then walked into the village about a mile away.

Village of Shenton

The village is part of the estate, clustered around the 17th century Shenton Hall, and associated church. The reason for our visit was, that it is also home to the Whitemoors antiques centre. There is a small tea room there, so we had lunch. Back at the boat we settled down for a relaxing afternoon.

 
Mooring at Shenton

Today we walked a couple of miles along the towpath, passing Ambion Wood and the supposed site of the Battle of Bosworth Field, arriving at Sutton Cheyney Wharf. We will stop here for water when we move off tomorrow, but today we had lunch in the cafe. Tomorrow we head for Dadlington and Stoke Golding.

  • Totals 5 Miles
  • Running total 89 Miles 19 Locks 5 Tunnels 

 

Shackerstone Update

So this morning after breakfast, we headed off to Shackerstone railway station. As you would expect, it has an old world feel to it, complete with a proper ticket office staffed by a station master, no such luxury with modern stations. We purchased our tickets, 2 adults and a dog, and in exchange for our money, we received the old style card tickets that could be clipped by the guard. The furry one was a little put out, as his ticket was for either a dog or a bicycle, and for carriage in the luggage wagon.

Ticket Office

Once on the platform the carriages were already waiting, and at the far end, the engine, hissing and puffing away. First order of the day, was topping up the water tank.

Water tank filling

The furry one, still not happy about his relegation to the status of luggage, so we relented, and allowed him to travel in first class with us. He had to settle for the floor, as the plush seating was out of bounds.

Oscar in first class

Prior to our departure there was an opportunity to visit the footplate. The engineer and fireman were both busy making final preparations. As an interesting fact, the engine today would consume three quarters of a ton of coal, during its eight trips up and down the line. I also thought that the training to be an engineer would be fairly long, but was informed that the process can be completed in twelve months, with the right aptitude.

Footplate
Hitched and ready to go

The journey to Shenton takes about 35 minutes, with a stop at Market Bosworth on route. On arrival at Shenton we walked up to the site of the Bosworth battlefield information centre, and enjoyed a pleasant lunch in the warm sun. Returning to Shackerstone station, we visited the museum, where one of the staff shared their boiled egg lunch with Oscar.

   
Railway artefacts of a bygone age

Tomorrow we head off for services at Market Bosworth Marina, and then onto Shenton for a couple of days. Needing to enter a Marina will almost certainly guarantee some windy conditions.

Burton Hastings

So this morning after breakfast we pulled our pins and set off the short distance to the water point prior to the stop lock. We have now found a water point that seems slower that the one at Hillmorton. An hour and a half later the water tank was finally full. Then it was into the lock for the dramatic descent of about one foot, the difference between the two canals.

You can see from the water mark on the lock wall how much difference there is between the levels. Out of the lock it is a sharp right turn onto the Coventry Canal heading towards Atherstone.

Coventry and Oxford Canals

Either side of the bridge above, you can see both canals running parallel for a short while. The Coventry to the left, and the Oxford to the right. We now had a couple of miles to cruise before reaching Marston Junction, and the Ashby Canal. Before that though we passed Charity Dock, a boatyard, scrapyard and mooring all rolled into one. A feature at this location are the many manikins, which have been dressed up in all kinds of costumes. There was even a Stig from Top Gear. My favourite though has to be the woman placed in the pillory, I believe an old fashioned punishment for nagging in the Elizabethan era, ah the good old days.

Charity Dock

Marston Junction was only a short hop from here. As we passed beneath the bridge just prior to the junction, it was apparent what a tight, blind turn this was. One long blast on the klaxon, and we made the right turn onto the Ashby Canal. This is now new water for us, and the boat.

Marston Junction, Ashby Canal

Soon after making the turn onto the Ashby Canal it felt different. We had left behind the busy industrial areas, and were now heading into the rural countryside of Leicestershire. Our first stopping point, was to be just south of Burton Hastings, a small village on the outskirts of Hinckley.

   
Four legs checking I have secured the boat at our mooring

The Ashby Canal is one of the canals reported to be very shallow. As yet we have had no problem, however there are still 20 miles to go to the current terminus at Snarestone, so plenty of time yet to run aground.

  • Totals 5 Miles 1 Lock
  • Running total 63 Miles 19 Locks 3 Tunnels