This week finds us moored a few hundred yards from Alvecote Marina on the Coventry Canal,a couple of miles East of Tamworth in Staffordshire.We’re here for the Historic Boat Gathering this weekend,August Bank Holliday.For three days there are going to be loads of Historic Boats,floating stalls,live music and………….yes you’ve got it,a beer tent with quite a few real ales and ciders.We’re going to have a good look at what’s on offer and also to meet up with the odd friend or two who may be here.Also we are having another visit from Heather and Steve,Lisa’s sister and brother in law,who’re obviously gluttons for punishment.Meals are booked for Friday and Saturday nights in the nearby Samuel Barlow,we’ve been informed by the chef that booking is essential.
Last weeks blog came from the Trent & Mersey Canal at Shobnall near Burton on Trent,the brewing capital of the world.We had a few things to sort out in Burton that couldn’t be done online and so required a personal appearance from one or t’other of us.We stayed until lunchtime Tuesday when,having got everything sorted,we left Shobnall,and headed West,intending to get to Alrewas for a day or two.As is usual for us though,it didn’t quite work out like that.About a mile and a half along the canal and just after the Bridge Inn at Branston,as we were squeezing past a line of moored boats at Branston Water Park,we spotted a familiar boat and we couldn’t just go on past without stopping.It was the Blue Buzzard belonging to Geoff,a boater we’d met earlier in the year and for months we found ourselves as neighbours wherever we went.He cruises single handed,in other words,he travels around the system on his own,and that can have it’s own set of problems,particularly with lift bridges and some locks.Anyway,after mooring up and waiting for a short while,Geoff appeared from walking his dogs and as you can guess,we arranged to go into the aforementioned Bridge Inn for a glass or two and then went to Alrewas the next day.
Geoff with Sam and Sally on the bows of his boat,Sam on the right,you can just make out the Blue Buzzard in the background.The picture on the right is one that I took on Sunday afternoon here on the Coventry Canal.It’s a guy on what looked like a surfboard,with his daughter,as he paddled along
A very narrow Bridge 36 on the T&M just before Barton Turns and a view over Branston Water Park as we walked with Geoff and his dogs,it looked as though we were in for a good soaking but the clouds passed over.
Above is a sequence of photo’s of Lisa as she brings Chyandour into Branston Lock on the T&M.This was her first lock on our own boat and as you can see she did it perfectly.
After spending Thursday in Alrewas we set off on Friday morning and made our way the two and a half miles to Fradley where we had arranged to meet up with another crew,that of the Mary H.Linda and Richard had paid us a visit while we were at the Middlewich Festival and now we were heading in opposite directions but passing at Fradley and that’s all the excuse one needs to go for a beer or three.So,that is just what we did,this time in the Swan.I must add though,despite the way I write this blog it is not the tale of one continuous pub crawl.We do other things you know,though exactly what,escapes me for the mo’.
Today has been one of the days that I devote to Chyandour.She’s our home and I like to keep her up together the best that I can so I have spent the day doing various little jobs.Just general tidying,cleaning and reorganising,it’s surprising how much room can be found when I start moving things about.All I have to do afterwards is remember where I have moved things too,not always as simple as it sounds.While I’ve been busy,Lisa’s been making Blackberry Jam.She went off this morning to pick the berries and then got back here and made the jam.It’s delicious.
That’s all again for this week folks.Since last week we have done the magnificent amount of 11 Locks and 24 Miles.This gives us a grand total of 464 Locks and 644 Miles since we set off in October.Thanks for reading and take care.