It was here that we got a serious electrical fault sorted out, way back in 2006. I’ve yet to hear a bad word said about them, everyone we’ve met who’ve used them has had nothing but praise for their work. Their hire fleet looks good, too. Some of the boats may be getting on a bit, but they’re all freshly painted and tidy.
There is a long line of permanent moorings on the offside near Grimes Bridge, and here we came across Iain and Alison on NB Gosty Hill, delivering coal. Heavily loaded, she looks just like a working boat should, with the water level with the top guard.
We exchanged pleasantries as we drifted slowly past, then pushed on towards Ansty.
We hadn’t intended to stop at Ansty, but Meg was getting a bit fidgety, trotting around with her back legs crossed, so we pulled onto the water point to fill the tank and empty the dog. A job less for when we arrived at Hawkesbury.
Leaving the village the canal heads towards the M6, running parallel for about a mile. The Wyken Colliery Arm goes off under a towpath bridge.
This is a new arm, the original was buried when the motorway was built. Of course, the colliery itself is now no more, the arm is occupied by the Coventry Cruising Club, and the mine site is a nature reserve.
Another mile and the shallow stop lock at Hawkesbury Junction comes into sight.
The junction is also known as Sutton Stop, named for a well-respected family of lock-keepers who looked after it.
After the lock we negotiated the 180° turn onto the Coventry Canal, then reversed back onto the wharf to empty the loo and the get rid of the rubbish.
Heading away across the junction we had a good view of the Greyhound Inn through the arch of the bridge across the end of the Oxford.
Then we idled through the narrows alongside the old engine house before tying up a little further on.
This is a listed building, and once housed a steam pump engine to supply the canal with water from a deep well.
View Larger Map
I took Meg for a walk before tea and had just got back when a couple walked past. I said hi, and noticed a lead in the woman’s hand so automatically looked for the dog. No canine in sight, but there was a deal of splashing going on behind Seyella. I shouted to the couple, then ran back and hauled a bedraggled Yorkshire Terrier out of the cut. She was OK, but wouldn’t have lasted more than a couple of minutes in the cold water. I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn’t seen her. There was no chance of her getting out onto the bank herself. Both sides have piled edges. Towelled off, she seemed none the worse for her adventure. I hope the owners keep a closer eye on her in future….
Did anyone notice that it was the Spring Equinox yesterday? Almost equal daylight and nightime lengths. Certainly looking forward now! Clocks go forward next weekend, too.
Locks 1, miles 8