Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Two days to Sutton Wharf

Meg is much better after only two days on her medication, ears up, eyes bright and wanting to play ball again. The last will have to wait another few days, though, till the Metacam reduces the inflammation some more. Still, it looks like it’s going to work. Early days yet.
Thanks for all the good wishes and advice.

Yesterday we moved out of Hinckley and moored near Bridge 23. There’s a pretty good, but small, farm shop here, alongside the bridge.

Trinity Marina on the right as we head out of HinckleySAM_8468
We spent a few days in here some years ago, and then you could walk around the field alongside the towpath…

…not any more
It’s now the Tungsten Business Park. That’s Meg and Penny running up and down the towpath terrorising the ducks…

The Triumph motorcycle factory is still going, I’m pleased to see.
The Triumph brand-name first appeared in 1886, when a German, Siegfried Bettmann, set up a business in Coventry selling bicycles made made other companies. He’d earlier marketed imported sewing machines. The company started making bicycles itself in 1894.
The first home-grown Triumph motor cycle came into being in 1905, with a 3hp engine and a top speed of 45mph. By 1937 they had developed what is recognisably a modern motorcycle, with a 500cc engine capable of moving the machine at over 90 mph, and proper brakes to stop it!
1937 Triumph Speed Twin
Speed Twin
Picture from

During WWII the the military was the company’s main customer, but production ceased abruptly when the factory was destroyed by bombing in 1940. It was two years later that a new plant, in Meriden, was opened.
Financial and labour difficulties led to the company being wound up in 1974, after much restructuring of the British motorcycle industry had been tried and failed. The workers at the plant were not going to let the marque die, though, and set up a a co-operative, which became known as Triumph Motorcycles (Meriden) Ltd. Supported by Government investment, the co-op struggled on until 1983, when, with debts in excess of £10m, they declared bankruptcy.

Another saviour stepped in, this time a property developer who bought the Meriden site, acquiring the company name, and started low volume production. Bonneville Coventry Limited was set up by John Bloor, and produced about 14 Triumph Bonnevilles a week. In 1988 the new factory at Hinckley was opened, but it still took until 2000 for the company to break even. Bloor had invested between £70 and £100 million, but now the company was viable. The company now has a strong position in the market, with wide product range. The Hinckley site employs around 1600.

An uneventful trip took us to Bridge 23, pulling up around half-past twelve.

The recent rain has turned the canal a sort of browny-green colourSAM_8472

NB No Problem follows us under Bridge 21SAM_8474
Meg wants to know if she can get back on yet….

This morning, after a second visit to the farm shop, we got away around  11:15.

Spinnybank Farm Shop

Just around the corner we passed Ashby Boats, where we hired a boat in the 90’s….

Ashby Boat Company next to Bridge 25SAM_8479

….then Willow Park Marina

This chap was non-committal about the situation in the Ukraine.

Muscovy Duck

There were a few boats about as we cruised around the loops following the 300 foot contour, but we took it nice and slowly, not wanting to rush on another fine day, and anyway I wanted the washer to finish before we topped up with water.

Big skies, long viewsSAM_8488

We pulled in on Sutton Wharf to use the facilities, then, with the plastic pontoon being empty, pulled forward a few yards and moored on there.

Plastic pontoon at Sutton Wharf
Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow, might take a day off…Be right back.

Lots of good walks around here, if Meg is up to it.

Locks 0, miles 5½. (two days).

1 comment:

Sue said...

Who are those two old codgers in the pic? ;)