Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back to Hawkesbury and meeting friends.

It’s been mixed weather while we’ve been in Coventry, sunny one minute with showers blowing over the next.

Coventry BasinDSC_0187

The east arm of the Y-shaped basin is now occupied by Valley Cruisers hire fleet.

James Brindley is looking puzzled about something…SAM_8420

Yesterday was “me time”, a morning in the transport museum.

A fantastic way to spend a couple of hours…. DSC_0138


I had one of these…DSC_0145

…one of these….

…and the 3½ litre version of this.
Sorry about the flash.

Apart from examples of cars, cycles and motorcycles produced in Coventry, the museum also houses the last two British land speed record cars, Thrust 2 and Thrust SSC.

Thrust 2 broke the world record in October 1983, 633 MPH.DSC_0150
The picture top left is from a video display charting the development of Thrust 2. I caught it as it showed a prototype looping the loop…

Thrust SSC broke it again on 15th October 1997, breaking the sound barrier to reach 763 MPH.

Oh yummy, Jaguars!DSC_0153
I was a bit disappointed not to see any examples of Riley Motors, apart from an early tricar. Riley were producing cars at Alderman’s Green until 1949, when it was moved to Abingdon with MG. It had been part of Lord Nuffield’s Morris Motors since 1938.

Here’s an interesting aside; Percy Riley set up an engine plant at Alderman’s Green, which later specialised in transmissions. It stayed independent of the Morris/BMC/BL takeover, and is still there, trading as PRM Newage.
Any boaters out there recognise the name? You’ve probably got one of their gearboxes bolted to the end of your engine…

Today was the turn of a more spiritual excursion. A visit to Coventry Cathedral, although in the end I didn’t go into the new building, at £8 I thought the entrance fee a little steep.
Talking of steep, I did climb the 180 steps inside the tower of St Michael’s, which survived the Coventry Blitz of November 1940, when most of the rest of the church was destroyed.

Heading up the cobbled Hill Top, the lane which leads to the Cathedral. Steeples of St. Michaels on the left, Holy Trinity on the right.DSC_0155

Engravings of angels adorn the glazed front of the new cathedralDSC_0156

St. Michael triumphs over Satan…DSC_0183

Old and new….DSC_0184

Inside the body of the ruined church, looking towards the surviving tower.DSC_0157

The entrance to the new cathedral lies opposite the old north wall

The Altar.
The cross is made from burned roof timbers…

St. Michaels Tower

Up the spiral staircase

I was lucky in that there were a couple of guys working on the bell platform. They kindly stood aside for me to get a picture.DSC_0165
There is a viewing platform higher up, but for safety it’s enclosed in glass, pretty grimy glass.

At the top, views across the city.DSC_0167




It was a bit blowy up there, but I wouldn’t have missed it!

Back to the boat, and we were ready to go when the first of the afternoon showers blew over. We waited for that to pass, so it was nearly 12:30 when we said cheerio to James.

Still puzzled…SAM_8424

SAM_8426The entrance to the basin is through a low, narrow bridge.

It was designed this way so the basin could be closed off at night. No boats were allowed to stay overnight; if they hadn’t finished loading or unloading they had to pull out and return in the morning.

Contrary to what we’d heard, the basin was peaceful and quiet. TV on the aerial wasn’t brilliant so I put the dish up. There is traffic noise, but you are in the middle of a city!

The return trip was uneventful, taking about 2 hours in sunshine and showers. We arrived back at Hawkesbury to be met by Sue and Vic, Meg and Penny off NB No Problem. They joined us for dinner and we’ve had a good old catch-up. We’ll be travelling in company for a bit, on up the Ashby Canal.

Stopping here tomorrow though, more persistent rain forecast.

Locks 0, miles 5¾


KevinTOO said...

Hi Geoff & Mags,
I too had a Rover 3.5l for a few years, it was such a lovely drive especially way back when the motorways weren't full. LOL
How is Meg, improving we hope?
Kevin & Harry

Elly and Mick said...

Fabulous aerial photo of the cathedral. Pity we didn't know you could walk up there, it looks amazing. It looks like there were some hire boats in the basin, I'm sure that must improve the feel. We had no problem (pardon the pun) there either but there were no other boats than us and our cruising companions. We weren't sure whether to stay! We had a peaceful night.
Elly nb Parisien Star

Anonymous said...

Fantastic photos, Geoff. We cruised into Coventry about four years ago and "did" the cathedrals. Wish we'd realised there was chance to climb the tower and get those spectacular views... Was a novice campanologist decades ago, so I love to see pics of bells close up.
We continue to read your blogs, always so well researched. Perhaps we'll cross once we are out on the cut again. Best wishes to you both.
Sue /Boatwif /nb Cleddau

Sue said...

Those views from the top of the tower gave me the collie wobbles!

Great to meet up at last and what a wonderful welcome with a delicious beef casserole to boot.

Oh you had some ol' bangers then eh? ;-)

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Elly, Sue. Yes, the basin was absolutely fine, even had a C&RT patrol officer stop by!
We thought we were going to be on our own, but another couple of boats turned up later. There's a live-aboard amongst the hire-boats, must be something to do with Valley Cruisers, so that's makes it more secure, too.
I was really lucky with the weather when I went up the tower, a clear sunny spell between showers. Cracking!
Oh, and Sue... less of the ol' bangers! They were (nearly) current when I had them!

Sue said...

Oh don't give me that Geoff! I know you are training for the Manchester run, you ain't THAT old! xx