Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Up to the Coventry Canal, sort of.

The junction at Fazeley sees the north end of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal meet the Coventry Canal at a T junction. But the left hand branch heading north wasn’t actually built by the CCC, it was cut by the B&F to push the northern route on when the Coventry Canal Company were suffering a degree of financial duress. It’s now considered part of the Coventry, hence the “sort of”.

Anyway, a frosty night led to a bright, sunny day. My day started with a run, then a dog walk, followed by 2½ hours with the chainsaw and axe. All the logs we’ve collected over the last few days have now been sawn, split and stowed back on the roof.
I was ready for a lie down after that, but it was not to be. We’d promised ourselves fish and chips from the Fazeley chippie and a promise is a promise, after all.Smile with tongue out

It wasn’t far though, and we got off around 1 o’clock.

There were 4 more of the Curdworth Locks to finish, and they took about an hour as they’re spread over a mile or so.

Approaching Curdworth Lock 8IMG_2690

The lock has a little hut alongside, for the stand in lock-keeper maybe? It’s too small for a workshop, and a store wouldn’t need a fire…

A bit tidier on the roof now. For a while, anyway.IMG_2692

Curdworth Bottom Lock has a disused swing bridge just above, and two rows of cottages alongside.

The cottages were built in 1820…

It’s a good job the gate opens the other way!IMG_2695
You can just see the no parking sign fixed to the gate…

A long straight is flanked on the right by extensive worked-out gravel pits, now a wetland sanctuary.IMG_2700

The village of Drayton Basset is off to the left, and just north of that is Drayton Manor, the theme park. It’s the influence of this attraction that affected the design of the mock-medieval footbridge across the canal.
Steps spiral up and down the towers to the bridge deck.

Just beyond is a swing bridge, normally open but today across the canal. A tractor appeared, crossed over and the farmer obligingly opened the bridge for us.

It’s just less than a mile to the junction from here, passing a hire base and Fazeley Mill Marina.

We waited while the wool boat reversed out of the marina; he must have been on the services, he normally moors in the shadow of Tilston Mill.

Maid of Fibre. Striking paint job…IMG_2709

Approaching Watling Street Bridge and Fazeley Junction the canal passes between the towering  Tolson’s Mill on one side…

…and a Methodist Chapel on the other.

Neither building performs it’s original function; I guess the residents of Fazeley are already saved or past redemption, and the legal profession no longer require woven ribbons to tie their documents in this digital age.

Under Watling Street Bridge and out onto the Coventry Canal. Sort of. IMG_2714
The lowering sun catches the upper floor of the recently renovated Junction House.

That’s it for today, moored opposite Peel’s Wharf.IMG_2715
It’s starting to get cold again!

I didn’t send those emails regarding the problems on Minworth and Curdsworth flights. Being as we were stopping here anyway, I thought I’d report in person tomorrow. That’s the C&RT office over there.

Locks 4, miles 4½

1 comment:

Andy Bayley said...

Hi Geoff still keeping up to date withwhat you are up to! I suspect the towpath telegraph has rewched you already but just had the sad news that Steve Hudson has suddenly died. You may remember our narrowboat Brindley was built by him and despite his idiosyncrasies he was excellent and knew his stuff a good guy and larger than life character. Despite no longer having a boat it feels like a real personal loss!