Monday, 2 September 2013

Congerstone,as planned.

Yes,as the title says,we’re here,near Congerstone,just as we had planned months ago when we were invited to this years Shackerstone Festival.We’re on the Ashby canal which has a reputation for being shallow and for not having much in the way of moorings other than the dedicated ones.Our experience so far has been otherwise,we’ve seen lots of places to moor,though these involve a walk to any amenities.But,if like us,you’re happy to moor in the middle of nowhere,there are plenty of middle of nowheres here on the Ashby and,at 27inches draught,we haven’t had a problem with depth.The festival is next weekend and we didn’t want to moor too close to the site because we expect it to be a bit congested.So far we have been proved right,there are boats breasted up already for quite a distance either side of the site and it’s only Monday.We’re about a mile East of Shackerstone which means we’re close but not too close,if you know what I mean.It was our aim to get here for Saturday and seek out a suitable mooring where we could stay till next Tuesday so we stopped at the first likely place,with the intention of checking to see if there is anywhere better,but,as it turns out,here is ideal.There’s a good TV,Phone and Internet which is amazing because our daughter lives less than a mile away and struggles to get any signal.

We left Alvecote last Wednesday,to cover the 32 Miles and 11 Locks to where we are now,just a couple of hundred yards before Congerstone bridge.On Wednesday night we stopped just short of Hartshill where we found a good pub called The Anchor and enjoyed both the evening there and Thursday lunch,the food was good and the Everards Tiger beer went down very well,thank you.Our eldest daughter and our grandchildren came out to see us and bring the mail,giving us an excuse to stop for lunch.Moving on after lunch,we only did about 5 Miles then called it a day a bit before Marston Junction,where the Ashby Canal leaves the Coventry Canal.We left there on Friday and made our way to the moorings at Stoke Golding,stopping off at Hinckley to do a bit of shopping and then did the last 7 Miles to here the next morning.

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A sad sight that was very common in the 50’s.Old working boats like this one,and many others that were just rotten hulks sitting on the bottom of the canal,were all we saw as kids playing on the canals.Lisa sitting waiting for the lock to fill.She is doing all the locks now,this one is on the Atherstone flight of 11 locks.

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Hartshill Yard on the Coventry Canal,a former British Waterways maintenance yard and Stable Block.Chyandour entering the Ashby Canal at Marston Junction.There used to be a stop lock here but in 1819 the Ashby and Coventry canal companies decided to remove the stop lock and narrow the entrance so only narrowboats  could enter and leave

Currently,the Ashby canal is 22 miles long but there’s a very active Ashby Canal Association who are working hard to restore the canal to it’s original 31 Miles.The Ashby opened in 1804 to serve the local collieries which,due to a shortage of funds,nothing new there then,were connected to the canal by Tram Roads.I believe,something like 12 miles of Tram Roads were built instead of canal branches.There was also proposals to open a canal through to Burton on Trent,now that would have been something.Various parts of the Northern end of the Ashby canal were closed between 1944 and 1966 because of mining subsidence,leaving what we enjoy now.It’s a lovely canal and if your not too deep draughted,well worth the visit.

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Outside the Rising Sun ,Shackerstone on Saturday.This Traction Engine,as   well as the pub,is to be one of the attractions at the festival next weekend.Don’t know about the boat though. It’s steam propelled and very quiet.As I was getting ready this morning it came by and I only just managed to get this picture.

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A before and after pic’ of our daughters garden that we tidied today.Surprisingly we don’t miss the gardens we had in Perth but it was nice to do a bit of gardening for a change,and also quite satisfying.

Well,that’s all again for this week folks.There will be loads of things happening this weekend,there’s going to be the Red Arrows,a Dakota and a Spitfire from the BBM flight,lawnmower and Llama racing,not each other,I hasten to add and a host of other things to enjoy so I should have lots of pic’s for next week.Since last weeks blog we have done 11 Locks and 32 miles,giving us a grand total of 480 Locks and 683 Miles since we set off last October.Take care everyone.

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