A fair bit has happened since the last post. After leaving Tixall Wide, we stopped for services at the Anglo Welsh base by Great Haywood Junction. On conclusion, we turned right onto the Trent and Mersey Canal heading south. As we cruised along the front of Shugborough Hall, we encountered nb Scythia moored, the first of a number of Hudson narrowboats we would see, heading towards Tamworth. After a brief chat with the occupants, we carried on until we reach Wolseley Bridge, at which point we called it a day. Finding a shady tree, we secured the boat, then wandered off to the pub for lunch a short distance away. After lunch we noted that two further Hudson boats, nb Neston, and nb Lydia May were also in the vicinity. The reason for the sudden congregation of Hudsons all heading the same way, was the impending owners gathering, due to take place in Glascote Basin. The next day we had a short hop to Rugeley, where we stopped briefly to visit the supermarket, then on to a mooring just prior to Kings Bromley Marina. Normally we would not consider stopping here, due to being under the trees which have a tendency to drip sap onto the boat, but with the heatwave in full flow, shade was the primary goal. The following morning we knew where we wanted to aim for. We navigated the three locks prior to Fradley Junction, then turned right onto the Coventry Canal detached section. We knew we were getting close to our intended spot, when the noise of the A38 encroached on our peaceful cruising. Fortunately it moves away from the canal after a short distance. On arrival at Kings Orchard, we initially stopped in our usual spot prior to the marina entrance, but there was no shade, and the reports were, that the next few days would be extremely hot. We were planning to stay put over the weekend to do some maintenance, and to visit the Plough P.H. for a Sunday roast. We would also want to use the marina services, before we moved off on the Monday morning. With compass in hand, I checked for some mooring under the trees beyond the marina, and found one spot, where a break in the tree line would afford a view to the satellite for the TV. We moved the boat and settled down to our maintenance tasks. On Sunday 15/7. we wandered off to the Plough for lunch, and although hot opted for the roast. What a good decision that was. It was excellent. Back at the boat chores completed, we relaxed for the remainder of the day. Monday 16/7. We nipped into Kings Orchard Marina for diesel and a pump-out. The people running the marina are extremely friendly, and always helpful. Then we were off aiming for Fazeley. On arrival we spotted nb Lydia May again, we had been playing leap frog with this boat over the past few days. We had not stopped here before, and the edge of the canal was fairly shallow, so one of our wheelbarrow tyres was put into use to assist with mooring. Tuesday 17/7. we decided to head up the two Glascote Locks, and take a mooring outside the basin, ready to enter the following day. We had pre arranged an early entry with Sarah who runs the boatyard, due to the need for a few small jobs to be sorted. That night we met the crew of Barolo No 3 who were already in the basin dry-dock, and together with a few of the workforce, we wandered off to the Gate Inn for evening refreshments. Wednesday 18/7. we winded and nipped into the basin, securing our spot for the weekend ahead. Late on Friday afternoon, the boats began to pile in, and it was not long before the basin was virtually full. The large tents had been erected during the day, and the bar installed with the ales chilling ready for the event.
|Hudsons filling Glascote Basin|
The weekend event went splendidly, a hog roast provided sustenance on Saturday, and Chinese Takeaway on Sunday. The ales flowed all weekend. Even the weather held fine. We had an early start on Monday morning, leaving the boat at the basin whilst we visited family in Kent. We therefore missed the exodus, but were informed the basin emptied as quickly as it filled, and returned to working mode by mid morning. Sarah has kindly agreed to allow the event to continue, so the 2019 dates are already in the diary. We finally left the basin on Wednesday 25/7. turning left under the bridge hole, and heading south towards Polesworth. Passing Alvecote we spotted Barolo No 3, so a short blast on the klaxon caused heads to pop out for a look. We carried on until arriving at our intended spot close to bridge 50. There is a large mound here, which shields the mooring from the mainline railway, a few hundred yards away. The following day Barolo arrived, and so we enjoyed a chilli one night, and a BBQ and wine on the towpath the next.
|Barolo No 3 and Achernar back to back|
Our plan was to head up the Atherstone Locks yesterday, but weather reports were indicating some stormy conditions, so we have stayed put. The weather reports were not wrong on this occasion, and we have certainly had some wet and windy weather.
|Moments before the storm hit|
The picture above was very eerie. Everything was bathed in an orange glow, and all was relatively calm. Then within five minutes, we were hit by torrential rain and wind.
- Totals from Tixall Wide to Polesworth 30 Miles 5 Locks
- Running total 376 Miles 175 Locks 9 Tunnels