Monthly Archive: September 2011

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No great expectations

Tixall Wide to Little Stoke, 9.5 miles and 4 locks Another blue, hot day with meteorologists and broadcasters on the radio excitedly anticipating and quoting record temperatures for a September day… Boats behind and in front of Cleddau left early from Tixall Wide, but Boatwif clung on, eager for one last photo opportunity, which was helpfully provided first, by a contractor’s workboat and dumb barge motoring by and secondly, by a couple of hire boats whose steerers’ signals proved more...

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Things domestic

Armitage (T & M) to Tixall Wide (Staffs & Worcs Canal), 8 miles and 2 locks  “Uuh?”  you may say, if you are a keen canal route follower. “Aren’t you going the wrong way? Wasn’t there a plan to continue over the hill after the Harecastle Tunnel at Stoke on Trent, and to drop down onto the Cheshire Plain and then go down onto the River Weaver…?”    There was… there still is, but the sun is shining and Tixall...

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What a beautiful day…

Alrewas to Armitage, 7.5 miles, 8 locks “We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re going on a bear hunt, what a beautiful day!” go the words of Michael Rosen’s wonderfully repetitive tale for toddlers. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s) And beautiful it was today: oncoming boaters remarked endlessly on the perfection of a calm, sunny, cloudless autumn day. “We can’t complain,” smiled another boater. No bears were found in caves nor was there squelchy squerchy mud to wade through: certainly a day beyond complaint....

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We will remember them

National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas  (about 6 miles on foot) The National Memorial Arboretum is on a 150 acre site, just north of Lichfield, Staffordshire.  Boatwif had spotted the Arboretum on the modern Geo waterways map, had picked up a flyer at the weekend at Sawley Marina and found directions by road and by foot on the Alrewas Parish notice board last night.  This morning Boatwif and the Captain set off from the canal, clutching their written directions – but neither...

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Extra boaters at Branston

Willington to Alrewas, 12.5 miles, 6 locks             There was a phone call on Sunday evening: a polite suggestion was made, a plan was formulated. Hence after a night’s rest punctuated all too often by fast freight trains just yards from the towpath (see previous post) there was an early alarm call, a swift departure for the services area further along, a dive into the village Coop and a departure westwards. 2 locks and 6 miles later, thirty seconds (yes,...

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Birthdays on boats – and bye to big locks!

Saturday 24th– Sunday 25th September 12 miles 7 locks Some stats since last Saturday: 4 train journeys 4 taxi rides 4 social chit chats* (Boatwif) 5 meetings (the Captain)   For those with an urge to discover where Cleddau is on Sunday afternoon, well, Willington, 12 miles west of Sawley, on the return leg back up the Trent and Mersey Canal. The crew of two returned to the boat at Sawley on Saturday with no agenda apart from relaxation and...

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Safe anchorage

1 mile east of Willington to Sawley Marina, 14 miles and 7 (broad) locks             We crept along the canal into Willington and out this morning – this appears to be another honeypot site for boaters, a village canal side pub being a certain attraction, with extensive visitor moorings either side of it.             After the quick and generally easy narrow locks the broad ones come as a shock: much deeper, the paddles stiffer, the gates heavier. On we plodded,...

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Branston Pickle

Hunt’s Lock, Fradley to 1 mile east of Willington, 13 miles and 9 locks Eastwards this morning – all previous destinations on this cruise have been generally south (Marsworth), west (Aylesbury, Coventry), north (Stoke Bruerne, Nuneaton) – so today’s beautiful calm and sunny morning, travelling into the rising sun, was both novelty and delight. Every mile or so there is a lock – and at each one there was a wait for boats ahead of us. But no matter, cooperation...

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Hut Havens 02

Tuesday’s report Downhill in Warwickshire 02 appears under Wednesday’s date. The  Blogspot server link was broken last night and a re-posting this morning put it in under Wednesday’s date. To today ( Wednesday):  Alvecote (Coventry Canal) to Fradley Junction (Trent and Mersey), 15.5 miles, 5 locks             “Better than yesterday!” remarked one boater after another. “Been tied up here for two days,” said one, in what was probably a Rhodesian accent. Celebrate! The wind did not blow, the rain did...

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Downhill in Warwickshire 02

Near Nuneaton to near Alvecote, 10 miles and 11 locks           Though frequently breezy and sometimes squally the force of the wind has been nowhere near as fierce as yesterday. The boating focus had to be to enter – and leave – the Atherstone 11 lock flight on one and the same day. The top few are close together near the town, the lower ones more spread out within quiet countryside, the flight stretching over about a mile and a...

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