Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A bit more like it, but it’s getting busy.

As we get into summer and the weather improves we’re seeing more and more traffic out on the cut. The age demographic seems to be that of older couples, probably getting a cruise in before the school holidays start. The hire boats will be out in earnest by the middle of the month…

We left Sutton Cheney yesterday morning, vacating our bit of the plastic pontoon to allow an “early start - early finish” boat to take it over.

Why did the canal surveyors insist on putting bridges on blind bends?DSCF0319

Dadlington Wharf Bridge
There’s no wharf here now, just a short stub occupied by a single boat.

Bat box in Bridge 29
Judging by the trails of guano (bat poo), it’s in use. Though why they bothered to emboss a picture of a bat on the cover is beyond me. Their eyesight is notoriously poor…

We were getting pretty short on supplies, having not done a good shop since we left Hinckley. So thought a Tesco delivery would be a good idea. There aren’t many places where the road and canal run beside each other, with parking for a largish vehicle, but three sprung to mind. Sutton Wharf would be OK, so long as you could get on the 24 hour or 1 hour moorings, but we’d left there already. Ahead of us was the bend below Stoke Golding, then Basin Bridge, both with offside moorings, both with laybys alongside.

There was room on the Stoke Golding moorings, so we pulled on there.DSCF0323
Not as far as we intended, but handy for the delivery.

We got a slot for first thing this morning, hoping that there’d be space to park when the time came. The layby is busy, folk coming down and parking for a while to feed the ducks, and the boaters moored on the long term moorings around the corner also park here overnight. But it worked well, loads of room when Tescoman arrived 10 minutes late, blaming Nuneaton traffic.

It took an hour to get everything packed away, and we were on our way again before half-ten.

With a regular source of food there’s lots of ducks around here, so tame they can be hand-fed.DSCF0326

Stoke Golding village up on the hill above the canalDSCF0327

Cassiopeia, a composite-construction Small Woolwich moors opposite the Farm Shop next to Bridge 23.
Composite hulls were built with iron sides and elm bottoms, easier to replace when they became worn out. Cassiopeia was built by the Harland and Wolff yard in Woolwich in 1935. Unlike a lot of her stablemates, she’s still full length.

The other option for a delivery, at Basin Bridge, was completely empty.DSCF0333
It might have been a better option as it turned out, but the offside moorings are popular so you can’t be sure to find space. The towpath moorings were very quiet too.

We toddled on, into and through Hinckley.

Trinity Marina

Hinckley Wharf Arm
Pickfords, now more associated with house-moving but 19th century canal carriers, used the wharf at the end of the arm. The wharf managers house and office still stands alongside Coventry Road, and is now an Indian restaurant.

We filled up with water at Limekiln Bridge, then carried on. We had a rough plan to stop at Burton Hastings, but the shade offered by high hedges before Bridge 13 was inviting, so we pulled in there instead.
Meg immediately dived into the cool of the hedge bottom, covering herself in goose-grass seeds!

Not sure what we’re doing tomorrow; if the forecasted thundery showers materialise we’ll probably stay here.

Thanks all for the comments on the last couple of posts. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one feeling a little let down with seeing a diesel instead of a steam loco! And thanks also for the info on the flax/linseed crop. I’m not sure I’ve seen it before, but I‘ll know next time!

Locks 0, miles 7

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