Monday, 7 April 2014

Back on the Ashby again.


As the title says,we are back on the Ashby Canal.We got here yesterday and our mooring is just a short distance from Burton Hastings,a little Warwickshire village North East of Coventry.It’s nice here apart from the weather which has been a bit wet and windy.As a result,we haven’t bothered moving,though a lot of other boaters have been brave and cruised.At times it’s been a bit like the canal equivalent of Piccadilly Circus,we’ve lost count of the number of boats that have gone past.

We’ve nipped back up here on the Ashby for a few reasons.One,our newest Granddaughter is to be Christened this coming weekend at a church just a few hundred yards from the canal.Two,we’re going to catch up with some friends who are moored at the end of the navigation where we will attend an event that is being staged to highlight the restoration of the Ashby canal.A couple of traditional working boats are to be loaded with coal and will tour the waterway system adorned with banners.Lisa and I are members of the Ashby Canal Association and it’s nice to get to some of the functions and help to support their aims.Three,our youngest Daughter will be moving house and like all nosey parents we want to have a look at the new home,the pictures look amazing but there’s no substitute for the real thing.

We left Curdworth last Tuesday morning,not quite bright and early just a bit earlier than we would normally expect to set off,but we didn’t get far.We want a Tiller Tassel to decorate Chyandour and the guy that makes them,Dave Edwards,was moored just a few hundred yards ahead of us.After placing our order and having a very entertaining hour with Dave we set off again to do the 11 Locks and 6.5 Miles to our next stop at Fazeley Junction.This junction is the Eastern end of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal where it meets the Coventry Canal.There are water and Elsan facilities here plus a few shops,its also only a short bus ride to Ventura Park retail outlets and to the nearby town of Tamworth.The most important thing for me though was to wash off the Saharan dust that had settled on Chyandour over the previous couple of nights.I like my shiny boat you see.

March 2014 009  March 2014 011

The Pleasure Grounds below Tamworth Castle.They have some lovely floral displays.The River Anker as it flows through the Pleasure Gardens.There are two rivers flowing through Tamworth,as well as the Anker there is the Tame from which Tamworth gets it’s name.

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The Mill that stands alongside the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal as you approach Fazeley Junction.It was built in about 1883 and called Tolsons Mill,it was used to make bootlaces,webbing,corsets,clothing and upholstery.Only the ground floor is now in use.On the right is the project that I have been engaged in for the last couple of months.It’s a Rag Rug,it’s 7 foot long and a little under 2 feet wide and I got it finished while we were at Fazeley.I can now get back to having the odd drink or three in the evening.

On Thursday we set off down the Coventry canal heading for Atherstone,another place we have stopped at before,and moored about a mile or so below the Atherstone Flight of locks,leaving the flight for Friday morning,no rush you see,so nice and easy.Before we set off on Friday,I took advantage of Midland Chandlers latest Freaky Friday,when they have 20% discount off their stock.I phoned and ordered the few bits that we want from their Distribution Depot,which is only a half hour bus ride from Atherstone,in the nearby town of Nuneaton.Thanks to Phil and Kevin my order was waiting for us when we got to their depot on Friday afternoon.On the way up the Atherstone flight of locks we saw a familiar boat,Miner Bill,the crew are Tweeters on Twitter and it was great to introduce myself to Nikki and put a face to the tweets.We spent Saturday with our eldest Daughter and eldest Granddaughter,they came out and picked us up.I got to watch The Wizard of Oz in the company of our Granddaughter while her mum and Lisa went shopping,it was the first time I’ve seen it all the way through.

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Our first Ducklings,swimming in formation along the Coventry Canal at Atherstone.Our mooring near Burton Hastings,I didn’t take this today,the view is the same but with rain instead of sheep.

Yesterday we set off from the Visitor Moorings at Atherstone and just cruised till we felt like stopping.The mooring here on the Ashby,between bridges 6 and 8,there’s no 7,was empty and tempting so here we stopped,with the intention of doing a bit more today.The weather forecast on last nights Countryfile wasn’t too promising and so it turned out.It’s lashing it down with rain as I write this and I’m glad we decided to stay.I don’t envy those intrepid boaters who have cruised past.

Well,that’s all again for this week.Since our last blog we have done 24 Locks and 28 Miles,quite a lot,it’s time we slowed down.That now gives us a Grand Total of 667 Locks and 1116 Miles since we set off on our travels in October 2012.Take care everyone.

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