Sunday, November 02, 2014

Bright but breezy

Couldn’t post this yesterday, internet went down in Hawkesbury area. It’s back this morning…

The fine weather continues as we wend our way steadily southwards. Rain overnight cleared to blue skies this morning, but a cool breeze has strengthened through the day keeping the temperature lower than yesterday’s balmy conditions.

Blue skies as we leave HartshillIMG_2135

Meg and I took a walk up the hill to get a paper from AJ’s, the view out to the NW was stunning.DSC_0296

Nearby in the valley is the canal, railway, Watling Street and the River Anker, on the horizon is the rising ground of Charnwood Forest in Leicestershire 16 miles away.

Shaggy Inkcap

Hartshill maintenance yard, dating from the opening of the Coventry Canal in 1771.DSC_0298

As I mentioned yesterday, this area has been extensively quarried since Roman times, the ridge comprising of a particularly hard granite. A concrete wharf south of the yard would have serviced Hartshill Quarry.IMG_2139

I wonder how many boats tied to this in the quarry’s working life…

Iron lattice bridges cross the canal to the quarries.IMG_2149

Once commonplace, now a rarity, we met a pair of narrowboats on a bend near the Anchor Inn. IMG_2142


These are butty Brighton, towed by, appropriately for where we are, motor boat Nuneaton, both operated by The Narrowboat Trust.

Springwood Haven was looking smart in the autumn sunshine.IMG_2146

Telephone lines once followed the canal towpath…

Our memories of Nuneaton always include the sight of rubbish in the cut. Once we encountered a fridge, TV, coffee table and a complete 3 piece suite! House clearance, fly-tipping style.
But today, apart from some rubbish under Tuttle Hill Bridge, the canal environs were remarkably clean and tidy.

Every time we pass through here there seems to be another housing estate, sprung up like mushrooms. These are on the site of Judkin’s Quarry.IMG_2150

The Nuneatoners do like their allotments…IMG_2153

Several boats were out on the hard standing at Boot Wharf. This one has an unusual aft swim...

…compared to the conventional design.IMG_2156
The swim channels water to and through the prop, without it the prop would just be a blender!

The top design would be fine on deeper water where it would draw from below the boat. But on shallow canals it could be a liabilty. Apart from struggling to draw enough water, it would tend to pick up all the rubbish off the bottom, I reckon.

Past the disused and overgrown Griff Colliery Arm, and the canal passes Marston Junction and the entrance to the Ashby Canal.

Griff Colliery Arm

Marston Junction.IMG_2161
Either side of the junction has become a popular mooring spot. Handy for the bright lights of Bedworth, I guess.

Of course, one can’t pass Charity Dock without seeing what the best-dressed manikins on the cut are wearing this season…IMG_2165

I’d forgotten it was All Hallow’s Eve last night…

Another abandoned colliery arm, this one for Newdigate Colliery, is adjacent to Bedworth Hill Bridge.

Newdigate Colliery Arm to the leftIMG_2169

Another mile saw us moored up just north of Hawkesbury Junction. It’s been a steady 3 hour cruise, no locks today. Just as well, Mags has been suffering a bit with indigestion (no, it’s not my cooking!) and didn’t sleep so well last night. Today’s long pound has given her the chance to put her feet up.
I think we’ll take a day off tomorrow.

Hi Tom. Yes, successfully reclaimed my alternator from Cox's. I've not tried it yet...

Locks 0, miles 8

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