Streethay

Quite a bit has happened since the last post, so here is a quick update. On Bank Holiday Monday 7/5. we departed Shackerstone aiming for Market Bosworth. This was an unplanned move, to facilitate a visit to a dentist the following day. We did wonder if there would be any space to moor at Bosworth, being a holiday weekend and with glorious weather, but to our surprise, we had our choice of spot being the only boat there. Wednesday 9/5. Visits to the dentist complete, our destination was Stoke Golding. The heat of the past few days had reduced, but it was still pleasant cruising weather. It was also much quieter, now all the workers had returned to their day jobs. On arrival at Stoke Golding we secured the boat, and after lunch wandered off to the farm shop at bridge 23 for supplies. Our evening meal was once again taken at the Mango Tree Indian restaurant, I can see this becoming a regular haunt when we pass this way. Thursday 10/5. we had a non moving day, instead taking four legs on a longish walk to Sutton Cheney Wharf for lunch. This is a round trip of about five miles, so it gave our legs a good stretch. The following day, Friday 11/5. we had a short hop of about one hour to Hinckley Marina. We were leaving the boat here for a couple of days, to attend a family Golden Wedding event near Newbury over the weekend. On returning to the boat, we took a further few days restocking the supplies and moving cars around, before finally getting underway again on Wednesday 16/5. Our intended destination was to be close to Springwood Haven Marina. As we navigated through Burton Hastings we spotted Nessie, a couple of hundred miles south of where he or she should be.

Nessie bobbing around at Burton Hastings

Turning right at Marston Junction, rejoining the Coventry Canal, we continued our journey north. We had to pass through Nuneaton, which as per usual meant encountering an increasing amount of rubbish dumped in the cut. As we approached Springwood Haven, we spotted a boat moored in our usual spot so we carried on on a bit. We found a nice spot just prior to a winding hole with some cows for neighbours.

Mooring near Springwood Haven

Thursday 17/5. We had a relatively short distance to cruise, but this did include the eleven locks of the Atherstone flight. We must have been righteous that day. Not only was the sun shining on us, and not so hot as to make it uncomfortable, but at all bar two of the locks we met oncoming boats. This meant nine of the eleven locks were set in our favour. At the bottom of the flight, we plodded on until reaching a usual spot for us, about a mile before Polesworth.

Mooring prior to Polesworth

We only stayed here one night before moving on to Whittington. So Friday 18/5. after breakfast we moved off. The weather was much cooler than it had been for the past couple of weeks. Our journey was going to take us by the birthplace of our boat, at Glascote Basin. We stopped above the top lock of the Glascote pair, at the water point. Whilst waiting we had a look into the Basin from the bridge. We will be back here in July for a boat gathering, which this year includes a hog roast. Once the water tank had been replenished, we set off again descending the two Glascote locks, and then continued on towards Whittington. We passed through Fazeley Junction, bearing right and joining the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. One feature of this canal, is that the bridges are named instead of being numbered. We only had a couple of miles to travel on this canal, before rejoining the Coventry Canal (detached section) at Whittington. Approaching Hopwas it was lunchtime, and the mooring directly outside the Tame Otter PH was empty. This was a sign, so we stopped for refreshments. After lunch we carried on for the remaining couple of miles to Whittington, and found our intended spot vacant. Securing the boat we took the opportunity to try out a new purchase, a sun parasol. Unfortunately, the nice shady seating caused four legs to misbehave, and following a disciplinary hearing, he has been demoted to third mate, for the offence of stealing the captains chair.

Four Legs committing a heinous crime

The demotion in rank also entails a restriction of privileges, meaning no Bonios for a week. A loose plan was to remain here for a week, whilst the crew popped home to do some dog sitting duties. This would give me the opportunity to complete some necessary maintenance tasks, including varnishing and wood staining. Wednesday 23/5. I moved the boat up to Kings Orchard Marina for services and took up a mooring just beyond the Marina entrance. Me and the third mate, will wait here til the crew returns on Saturday.  

  • Totals Monday      7/5.   3 Miles
  •          Wednesday 9/5.   6 Miles
  •          Friday        11/5.  3 Miles
  •          Wednesday 16/5.  11 Miles
  •          Thursday    17/5.  7 Miles 11 Locks
  •          Friday         18/5. 12 Miles 2 Locks
  •          Wednesday 23/5.  1 Mile 
  • Running total 125 Miles 32 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Back on board, Polesworth

Several months have passed since our last post. Having spent three months in Somerset whilst our boat was shot blasted, and having a full repaint at Glascote Basin, we returned to Tamworth in mid July, to a nearly finished project. Although not quite complete, we were able to move back on board briefly, for the Hudson owners gathering over the weekend of 22/23 July. This year more boats and owners turned up than previously so, despite some torrential rain a great time was had. During our period away, we had ordered a new set of fenders, to adorn our newly painted boat. These were made and fitted by the Glascote fender maker, whose website is fendermaker.co.uk. Rather than having a standard button fender on the stern, we opted for a more decorative Barlow Button, however this caused a bit of fender envy, (you know who you are) so we are now not the only ones, sporting some fine rope work. After the weekend event, we handed the boat back to the boatyard for the works to be completed. On Friday the 4th August we returned to Glascote, and started loading the boat with our worldly goods. The weekend was spent dealing with some final snagging, then on Monday, after having a pump out and filling with diesel, we were ready for the off. With some expert use of the bow thruster, we reversed from the Basin onto the Coventry Canal, and headed gingerly in the direction of Polesworth. The reason for the extra care is, whilst the paint is dry, it will be a few months before it has fully hardened, so keeping away from overhanging vegetation is the priority. The trip to Polesworth was pleasant enough, although rain did threaten, it failed to materialise. The canal was fairly busy though to be expected, as we are now at the height of the holiday season. We found a spot at a usual mooring site for us, about a mile from the foot of the Atherstone lock flight. The next couple days are forecast to be wet, so we will probably stay put until Thursday. Now for some pictures,  

Newly painted bow and button fender    

Side view    

Sign writing by Dave Moore    

Hand painted pigeon box    

Rear fenders with Barlow Button

  As can be seen from the photos above we are pleased with the end result, and especially the work done by Dave Moore on the sign writing, and painted pigeon box. What all but the most eagle eyed observers will miss, is the small detail in his work. In the photo showing our rear panel, if you zoom in on our boat number, you will see that the 2’s are in fact little swans. 

  • Totals 5 Miles
  • Running total 118 Miles 30 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Polesworth, Bridge 50 Coventry Canal.

At 09.30 hrs we eased away from our mooring, for the short three minute journey to Springwood Haven Marina to use their services. For the past few days, whenever we have walked past the service pontoon it has been empty. Not today. As we rounded the bend we saw three boats already there, and another coming the other way, which we just beat into fourth position. Add to that the pump out machine was playing up, so we had a bit of a delay. Anyway, by 1130 hrs we were on our way towards Atherstone, and its flight of eleven locks. The top lock as is usual was manned by a lockeeper, but as we passed through we could see two further boats ahead descending the flight, with nothing coming the other way. All the locks would be set against us. We had planned to stop after five locks in one of the long pounds for lunch, but in the end decided to push on. Once down the flight it was only twenty minutes or so to our intended spot. It ticks all the boxes, rural, satellite and phone signal, wide grassy towpath, good views and today, sunny. This will be a good spot to wash and polish the boat and brass before it returns to its home port at Glascote Basin on Tuesday next week.

 
       

Totals 7 Miles 11 Locks
Running total 210 Miles 140 Locks 12 Tunnels