Well,as the title suggests were of to pastures new again.This time were on our way towards Oxford some 95 Miles and 42 Locks from Carlton Bridge 44 on the Ashby.Don’t know for sure when we are likely to get there but it wont be any day soon.We’ve planned to get there for around the middle of May so that should give us plenty of time to enjoy what lies ahead of us.
Since our last blog we have had quite an interesting time up here on the Ashby.As you know we moved up to the end of the canal on Monday then on Tuesday,after helping our youngest move house,we rounded off the day with Jeanne and Pete in the Rising Sun at Shackerstone,one of the best pubs on the canal system.On Wednesday I mowed a bit of grass for the Ashby Canal Association ready for the next day and watched the two coal boats,Aquarius and Ilford,being loaded with the coal that they’re to take around the Inland Waterways,Lisa meanwhile,had a “Girly Day” with Jeanne.Thursday was the big day,we had a few local dignitaries helping to promote the event and though it was a bit cold a few people made the effort to dress for the occasion,myself included.We had an impromptu BBQ on Thursday night despite the cold wind and had a great time with some new found friends,sitting around a brazier filled with some of the leftover coal that isn’t on it’s way round the system.Thanks to Rod & Eleanor,Tony & Sue,Pete & Jeanne and Colin & Sue off the boats,and Andy,Charlotte & Zoe from the old Pump house.
The stars of the show.Aquarius loaded and Ilford being loaded on Wednesday.
A couple of boats at the show.Pete & Jeanne’s Castellan and Rod & Eleanor’s Storm Petrel.
The dignitaries arrive and the token shovelling of the coal onto one of the boats.
The speeches,they were worth listening to,and Peter,Jeanne and Myself,not sure that a flat cap suits me,looks a bit like a flying saucer.
The BBQ at the end of the day.
Some of the inside of the Snarestone Pump House at the side of the canal.It was built in 1884 to pump water to Hinckley from a 700 foot deep shaft below the house.Andy,Charlotte and Zoe,the new owners,proudly gave us a conducted tour on Thursday night.
We moved from the end of the navigation on Friday because Lisa’s sister Heather and her husband Steve were coming out to us again,this time for the Easter weekend.Shackerston seemed like a good place to meet up and then we could have the evening meal in the Rising Sun which I had booked a few weeks previously.As always,the food and drink there were excellent.On Saturday,after cruising for a whole six and a half hours,which is an exception for Lisa and I,we moored near the little village of Carlton.The Gate Hangs Well in the village had live music that night and we’d been reliably informed the band was well worth seeing.This proved to be correct,Waxies Dargle,an Irish Folk and Skiffle band,gave us a very enjoyable night with some unusual renditions of some popular tunes.They get their name from a song by the Pogues by the way.The evening was enjoyed along with copious amounts of that wonderful falling down juice, Marston’s Pedigree,and a great time was had by all.
Some of the life alongside the Ashby Canal.
Moira Furnace and the short stretch of restored canal that runs alongside it,looking in the direction of the current end of navigation some six miles away.
Steve,Heather & Lisa earlier on Saturday evening in The Gate Hangs Well and a not so good pic’ of Waxies Dargle performing.
Then on Sunday,after a long lie in we shuffled the couple or so miles back to Shackerstone where we got into Steve’s car and drove over to Moira Furnace which is on a short stretch of canal that will eventually be joined to where we moor at the current end of the Ashby.Thursdays event was about getting the canal just a little bit closer to Moira Furnace.Then it was back to the Rising Sun,where we enjoyed the lunch,before cruising back to the end of the canal and an early night.I think one or two of us had consumed a little bit too much,if you know what I mean,no names of course.Steve and Heather left us on Monday and then Lisa and I finished the day back at Carlton,not in The Gate I hasten to add,we’ve signed the pledge for a while,honest !!!
Well,that’s it again for another week.Since our last blog we have cruised 33 Miles,mostly over the same stretch of canal so Steve could have a go at the Helm,and 0 Locks.That gives us a Grand Total of 667 Locks and 1168 Miles since we set of in October 2012.Take care everyone.