Monday, October 27, 2014

Heading South…

On Sunday morning we left the main moorings at Fradley Junction, made a quick visit to the services, then went up Junction Lock, through the swing bridge and moored in front of NB Rooster’s Rest.

Terry and a volunteer brought us up the lock…IMG_2030

…and Terry opened up the swing bridge in the narrows at junction.IMG_2032

I’m not sure but it’s likely that the narrows would have held a stop lock at one time, between the Trent and Mersey and the Coventry Canals.

Escorting Mags for a brew with Terry and PamIMG-20141026-WA0000
No, Terry hasn’t just booted Meg up the backside!

We had a coffee morning aboard Seyella this morning, Kevin and Ann on NB Rock’n’Roll arrived yesterday, and they joined us for an hour or so before we all got going.IMG_2037

The “Rooster’s”, just before they set off.IMG_2038

It was close to 11:00 by the time we pulled pins and headed off down the Coventry Canal.

Streathay Wharf was busy as usual. I counted half a dozen boats on the wharf or under cover, including this wooden hull.

Opposite are moored Ex Cowburn and Cowpar boats Starling and EthelIMG_2043


The open stretches towards Huddlesford allowed the brisk wind to clear the roof of an accumulation of leaves over the weekend.IMG_2052

Huddlesford Junction, leading to Ogley Junction and the Birmingham Canal Navigations

IMG_2051Or at least it did, until closure in 1954. A lot of the channel has been filled, but there’s an active restoration attempt going on. It’ll not be easy, 30 locks over 7 miles will take some work. Once opened, though, I’m sure it would be a popular route to Birmingham.

I don’t think even Snow White would be able to cope with this lot, in a garden in Whittington!


In Whittington, where the canal crosses Whittington Brook, it actually becomes the Birmingham and Fazeley. When the Coventry Canal was under construction, funding ran out at Atherstone (and, if truth be told probably enthusiasm, too. The canal had achieved it’s primary goal, connecting the Bedforth and Nuneaton coalfields to the south). The Birmingham and Fazeley Company were keen to see the canal up to Fazeley and the connection with their own canal, and the Trent and Mersey owners wanted to make the connection to the north at Fradley. So they put pressure on the CC shareholders to finish the canal to Fazeley, on the understanding that the B&F would continue from there to Whittington and the T&M would build a connection south to meet it. This T&M connection was later bought by the Coventry Canal Company, but the Fazeley to Whittington section remained part of the B&F until nationalistion. And still is, strictly speaking.

The B&F named their bridges, rather than the institutionalised numbering used on the Coventry.

Two and a half miles south of Willington we pulled in, in the village of Hopwas, in front of “The Rooster’s”

Through Hopwas Hays WoodIMG_2062

The original plan was to push through to Fazeley, but with a late start and that chilly breeze we decided to call it a day here. Anyway, it meant we were able to enjoy Terry and Pam’s company for another couple of hours this afternoon. They’ll be staying here tomorrow while we push on to Fazeley and beyond.

Hi Marilyn. We’re always pleased to see (and feed) Ed. He helped us out of a considerable hole when we were up on the Leeds and Liverpool.

Hi Brian. Thanks for the compliment. You should have given us a knock, the kettle’s always on… Next time, eh.

Hey up Carol. As you can see, we met up with Kevin and Ann. It was good to see them again.

Locks 1, miles 8½

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