First of all I would like to apologise to my reader for the lack of a blog last week,he will know who he is.The reason there was no blog is because we seemed to have had loads to do but most of it I felt you would find of little interest,whilst at the same time,we were cruising or mooring in places that we have already covered.
There I am doing one of the jobs that need doing now and then.This time I’m checking the Propshaft bolts for tightness.The little lady herself,5 days old and gorgeous.
A lot of the week before last was spent getting ourselves in a position to go and visit our new Granddaughter.We wanted to see her as much as we could before leaving the Ashby to make our way through the Atherstone flight of locks before the Winter Closure programme began today.Locks 4 to 10 are now closed until the 21st of December and we want to be in Birmingham by the end of this month at the very latest.
The Triumph motorcycle factory alongside the Ashby Canal outside Hinckley and a mini rainbow as we cruised towards Atherstone last Monday
The result of our application for bus passes has reached a satisfactory conclusion,we are now proud owners of said passes.It seems that the requirement for registration for Council Tax is only to ensure there’s an address to send the passes too.Our Driving Licences,for which we are legally required to have an address,and our banks are registered at our address so we used them as proof and our application was accepted,at the third attempt though.The moral of this story is,don’t give up at the first,or even second,hurdle.
We set off towards Atherstone a week ago Friday,obviously giving ourselves plenty of time to get to the locks.There was a severe weather warning for the beginning of last week and we wanted to be somewhere sheltered just in case.We stopped at Stoke Golding for Saturday so that we could go to the Ashby Canal Society Quiz night.We didn’t win,in fact we were about average,but we had a good night with Peter & Jeanne,of good ship Castellan fame,who were our quiz mates.We left there on Sunday,which was quite a windy day,and we got to Burton Hastings and called it a day,expecting things to go down hill weatherwise as the rest of the day wore on.It didn’t,in fact,for us anyway,Monday was a bit of an anti climax as we made our way steadily to the top of Atherstone Locks.
The replica Steam Tug Hasty which first went in the water on 20th July 2011.She is a copy of a Steam Tug of the same name that could have been in use before 1870.Here she is a few hundred yards above the Atherstone Flight.The top lock of the Atherstone Flight.There used to be a bridge over the entrance to a basin just about where the towpath disappears on the right of the picture.
As we were well ahead of time we decided to stay a couple of days in one of our favourite places and get some supplies in,and this we did,before heading down the locks on Wednesday.We managed to get a couple of pints in the Maid in the Mill on Tuesday night.It’s just off the top of the flight and we found it to be a friendly,cosy little pub.The reason for our allowing ourselves plenty of time to get through the locks etc. became apparent when we got to lock 8 on Wednesday morning,the lock itself was full but the pound beyond it was empty.The pound is the stretch of water between locks and it turned out that there was a leak on lock 10 and as a result the canal between locks 8 and 10 had been drained of water.Canals & Rivers Trust turned up as we arrived at the lock and while Lisa made everyone cups of tea,they set about refilling the canal and we were away again within a couple of hours.It could have been a lot worse and the delay could have been a lot longer,some of our canals can be closed for months after a leak that empties them.
The pound between Locks 8 and 9.CRT are starting to refill it after the leak at lock 10 was fixed.Sally and Sam having a dip in one of the pools caused by subsidence at the former Pooley Hall Colliery near Alvecote.
We got to Alvecote that afternoon and decided to stay a couple of days so we could spend some time with a good friend Geoff and his dogs,Sam and Sally off Blue Buzzard.We were still well ahead of our schedule as the next stoppage,on Minworth lock 1,isn’t till next Monday,the 11th,so it was over to the Samuel Barlow for a beer or two.The Samuel Barlow is one of the few places where I know I can get a good steak,ok the chef is a bit different,but he does know how to grill a steak,so Thursday night we were over there for a meal.Our next stop was at Anchor Bridge 70,near Tamworth,where we were going to meet up with Peter and Jeanne again and also where our daughter could pick us up and take us to the Barton Boy Scouts Bonfire on Saturday night.That was a great night with Dick and Dom to open the show and a brilliant display of fireworks accompanied by music.
The Bonfire at Barton Scouts Fireworks display.Dick and Dom with our Grandchildren.
A couple of attempts at photo’s of fireworks with my new camera.
Since then we’ve just been pottering about the boat,keeping things tidy and generally relaxing,before we set off tomorrow on the next leg of our journey towards Birmingham.If things go to plan we will be on the outskirts by Friday and into the centre for Sunday,but,that could change at any time.
That’s all for this week folks.Since our last blog we have done 11 Locks and 51 Miles,giving us a Grand Total of 491 Locks and 861 Miles since we set off in October 2012.Take care everyone.