Monday, May 04, 2015

Busy at Barton

Another cracking start to the day saw Meg and I taking a quick walk around Fradley Pool.IMG_4550
Now a nature reserve, it’s original purpose was a little less altruistic. When the Coventry Canal was cut, joining the Trent and Mersey between Middle and Junction Locks on the Fradley flight, there was concern that precious T&M water would finish up heading down the Coventry. The canal companies were very jealous of their supplies, after all it was almost literally their life-blood. Normally surplus water above a lock would run down a by-wash into the pound below, but that bypassing Middle Lock might have finished up heading off the wrong way. So the by-wash was extended to feed into this large pool below the junction and Junction Lock. It feeds back in below Keepers.

We were up and ready to roll soon after eight o’clock, so pushed across to the services and got rid of the rubbish and emptied a loo. A boat was on the water point and this tap is notoriously slow, so rather than wait we set off, down the remaining two Fradley Locks.

We hit it lucky, early risers from Alrewas way were already on the way up, setting the locks in our favour and allowing us to leave the lower gates open.

A happy boat in Alrewas. It’s called LollipopIMG_4556

Ooh, that looks expensive…IMG_4557

Our first opportunity for water was above Alrewas Lock, but we decided to push on to fill below Barton while the going was good. But we’d caught up with a boat here, so had to refill the lock.

A boat ahead at Alrewas LockIMG_4559

After the river section the queue was longer at Wychnor Lock, we’d picked up another boat from somewhere.
It was inevitable really. As the morning wore on more and more boats were on the move.

The run alongside the A38 was noisy as normal, the road busy even on a Bank Holiday.

Some bridge re-numbering has occurred at some time.

Bridge 46 became Bridge 42…

Arriving above Barton Lock we picked up another couple of boats. The queue was getting longer as more boats set off from their overnight moorings. It took us 90 minutes to descend the lock and fill with water below. But the lock had broken up the procession, so there was no one waiting above Tattenhill Lock, just one coming up.

“Skinny Bridge”, No 36.
I pride myself on taking this one at cruising speed without touching the sides. Mags was handing me a brew at the same time today. Who says men can’t multi-task!

Tattenhill Lock, another pretty oneIMG_4567

And that was about it for today. Another 10 minutes saw us tied up near Branston Water Park.


We had visitors this afternoon. KevinToo and his mum Sheila came over to see us. They’re always welcome, not least because they come armed with doughnuts and pork pie! We had a good chat before they left us late afternoon.

There’s been a lot of boats about this afternoon, but it should slow down a bit tomorrow.

Hi Nick and Anne, I made the same mistake, you're going to have to get a repaint! Welcome to the fraternity!

Locks 8, miles 7

1 comment:

KevinTOO said...

It was a pleasure to spend some time in your company once more. Good luck for your forthcoming crossing of the Wash :)