Monday, 28 May 2012

Long, hot days ...

Wednesday morning quarter past five ...
... wow what a sight!
Leaving our mooring at 06:45 ...
... and looking over the huge field of rape seed towards Grendon church beyond the tree line.
Grendon Dock - working boats Kangaroo and Kestrel which we saw towing yesterday ...
... and one that has suffered from fire by the looks of it - and work in progress on the house too.
Next in line is butty Northolt on the outside with motor Jaguar on the inside ...
... and this one waiting for renovation but no name visable!
Into Atherston bottom lock - the first of the day at 07:25 ...
I'd never noticed lock numbers on the actual gates before, but quite a few of the Atherston locks have them.
I have no idea what that castle-like building is!
Looking back towards Grendon from lock 8 ...
... and towards what was once the lock keepers cottage ...
... looking down through bridge 42 from lock 3 - nearly there!
The population of Northants love their allotments, but I think some county council works department may be short of road warning signs!
09:24 in Atherston lock 1 - exactly 2-hours to do 11 locks and approx 1.5 miles - not bad at all!
That's Bendigedig  pulling out behind us as we pass Piston Broke
The toll/weigh office at BW's Hartshill Yard ...
... and the lovely old buildings still in use today.
Judkins Quarry spoil heap known by the locals as 'Jees' or Mount Judd
A mist of forget-me-nots at the end of a lovely garden
Keeping them safe
Mile upon mile of allotments
As busy as ever on Boots Wharf ...
... and yet more allotments!
Marston Junction - the Ashby Canal goes off to the left here.
According to Nicholson Guide ...
... Charity Docks has a crane (yes), toilets and DIY facilities but how you would ever get to them, I've no idea!
But it's fun anyway - look at that - diesel for £1.60 per gallon - could do with some of that!
Mum Mallard with chicks as we approach the bridge - she managed to get them all safely to one side thank goodness!
The Navigation Inn Bedworth is under renovation - will it still be a pub though?
When we had a car I loved to peep inside windows in the evenings as we pass by, when they'd got their lights on - now we have the pleasure to seeing the other side of the house - the back gardens from the canal - the car drivers and passengers are missing a real treat!
Approaching Hawkesbury Junction ...
... which is chock-a-block as usual but we managed to find a slot on the visitor moorings at about 1:30pm.
It's certainly been a hot hot day - just look at the temperature on the roof of rock n roll - don't take any notice of the weather girl thug and the clouds and rain - the pressure reading is obviously wrong!

Thursday 06:25 - no brilliant sunrise today, it's cool and rather overcast, and I'm relieved as it's going to be a long day out today.
George preps RnR as I set off to set the lock and take some piccies ...
Hawkesbury Engine House (click on the pictures to enlarge) ...
... and useful information board ...
... and The Greyhound - had a great meal there last night - it was packed inside and out!
I love these canal workers cottages to the side of the pub
Interesting stuff!
Sutton Stop toll house is under the trees to the right of ...
... Hawkesbury/Sutton Stop Lock - you can see the difference in water levels is only about 8".  In the days of yore when the canals were owned by individual companies there was a charge/toll made when the working boats passed from one canal to another - the companies didn't want any other company to 'steal' their water!
Here comes George through that beautiful iron bridge built in 1837
Last night we were on the Coventry Canal which continues into Coventry straight past this bridge but we are turning no onto the North Oxford Canal into the stop lock and under the foot bridge ...
 ... where we see Petroc but it's only 10 to 7 so we cruised quietly by ...
 Another pub closed since we last came this way - The Old Crown at Tusses Bridge (4)
 07:45 and it's still very overcast - and still cool but comfortable for me (George has his coat on!)
 A Buzzard ...
 ... a lucky shot!
 Miles of Rape Seed and at nearly half nine the sun is doing its best
 Stretton Stop - where we stopped to empty the loo tank ...
 ... and have a 'catch-up' with Nigel who did a lot of the fitting out on RnR and who now works for Rose Narrowboats.  Good to see you again Nige!
 What is it about bends and bridges and boats coming the other way!!
 Newbold Tunnel - we've never noticed the steps before above the bridge, but we love the coloured lighting inside
 A big one and some smaller ones shading from the now very hot sunshine.

We stopped at Brownsover to do a Tesco shop and as we were organising the packing of the backpacks outside the shop a lady approached us and asked if we were boaters and offered us a lift back to the car park - how very kind - we gladly accepted - she and her husband have a boat called Twinkly and she told us that we should pass him on our way today and to say hello.  What a lovely thing to do - 'thank you Mrs Twinkle'
 We said a quick hello to Bruce and Sheila as we passed ...
 ... but there didn't appear to be anyone onboard Tia.
 Up through Hillmorton's 3 locks - there was a keeper today on the bottom lock
 Working boat Corona - you can see from the upper water line that she's been recently carrying cargo - and she sounded like heaven!
 I wonder if C&RT have the money to repair bridges? We've seen so many in very dire straights indeed.
 You cannot beat the British countryside
 Oh, there's Twinkle but no Mr Twinkle around at the moment ...
 ... and then Derwent6 - hope you're feeling better now Del
 yet another bridge in need of repair as we ...
... pull over to moor at Willoughby just before bridge 85 for the night.

A long and eventually very hot day - 11.5 hours on the move - 21 miles and 3 locks.  This is, of course not our usual cruise, normally it's 3- 4 hours a day, but we shall try again for entrance to the River Nene in early June and we've lots of jobs to catch up on which we'll do during a stay in and around Braunston.


  1. I think the "castle" is Merevale Hall.

    Lovely pictures as usual.

  2. That house, dry dock and South Midland boats at Grendon are owned by Malcolm Burge, who also owns Narrowcraft Boatbuilding, Alvecote Marina and the Samuel Barlow Pub - must be worth a bob or two!
    Trevor Maggs is on nb Corona and is often seen at the historic boat shows.
    You obviously enjoyed the meal at The Greyhound - my fave pub on the cut and it's always crowded. Do continue having fun.

  3. Yep, Merevale Hall and estate owned by Sir William Dugdale. Spent many a happy hour fishing along that stretch of the Coventry canal when I lived in Atherstone , Now I live up from Hartshill Maintenance yard so still not far from it.

    Beautiful scenery in Gods county :) 2nd week of may is good for the Bluebells round here if you're ever coming back this way.