Boatwif Blog

0

Stone’s throw from Stone

Tixall Wide to Stone: 10¼ miles, 4 locks            How the sun sparkled on the waters this morning; how lucky the crews of two day boats hired from Great Haywood must have felt as they came upon this delightful setting.           Cleddau’s route today involved a return to Great Haywood Junction and a left back onto the Trent and Mersey Canal, heading, as the sign indicated, for the Potteries. Not far along was nb Moore2Life  and there was a wave to...

0

Slow boat to Tixall Wide

Taft Bridge to Tixall Wide:  3½ miles, 2 locks (over several hours)            What is a very short distance took a long time this morning – but in delightful surroundings, with good-tempered company at both of the locks and in fairly warm weather there is no cause for complaint.             Cleddau had been moored last night opposite the pig farm (where there are alpacas too) and the farmer has diversified in a helpful way.  Buy less than 100 litres of...

0

Need an elephant ornament?

King’s Bromley to Taft Bridge: 7.1 miles              Deployed Google and maps late last night. It had come to mind that a dear boating friend had recommended a nature site of some kind in the area of Wolseley Bridge, after Rugeley. Where was he talking about? Maybe readers aren’t too familiar with Rugeley either…  Cleddauand her crew are now a couple of miles north west of this town in Staffordshire. There’s been a growing feeling too over the last couple...

0

Curiosities en route to Fradley

Hopwas to King’s Bromley: 10½ miles, 3 locks              So which was the pub of choice in Hopwas last night?  A waterways guide book (admittedly quite an old edition) recommended The Red Lion for good food. That became first choice but close up the slightly seedy exterior and the loud juke book noise was a deterrent.  Instead patronage was given to The Tame Otter, which was busy, welcoming and, despite bookings, could offer tables both inside or out.              The...

0

Hindrances to passage

Alvecote to Hopwas: 6.6 miles, 2 locks              The boat rounded a long corner this morning to reach Alvecote: it’s a busy place with two marinas, online moorings and usually a fair collection of old workboats.  Moored up in line was a glorious collection of high hulled colourful old boats, including Chertsey (read here for owner Sarah’s account of how a brass band was delivered to the official opening of the Erewash Festival in May).             Not much further on there...

0

An abbey, a coalfield and a slagheap

Atherstone to Alvecote:  3.25 miles, 6 locks              Boat traffic was busy on the remaining 6 of the 11 lock Atherstone flight this morning. At every lock there was an upcoming boat – and at the bottom there were three boats waiting to start.              The canal drops away from the town into a quieter, more rural environment. True the West Coast railway line is still there, occasionally very close, but it is not a constant companion. Views are open...

0

Aided at Atherstone

Hawkesbury Junction to Atherstone: 11.3 miles, 6 locks           Moved onto the Coventry Canal this morning – though not cruising to Coventry, did that in 2010. : Hawkesbury Junction sees the end (or the beginning) of the North Oxford and the junction with the Coventry Canal. The distinctive building visible from some distance is a disused engine house where water once was pumped up on to the canal from a well.  All was quiet at the popular Greyhound Inn, tucked...

0

Snapped Gear Cable

All Oaks Wood, Brinklow to Hawkesbury Junction, 8.8 miles, 0 locks, 1 breakdown             Once untied this morning Cleddau dived into a long wooded cutting. A serious tree collapse in one place and overgrowth of vegetation in several other places makes navigation along this stretch of the North Oxford interesting… After about two miles comes Stretton Stop where there is a busy boatyard and hire boat fleet. The boatyard staff dart backwards and forwards across the footbridge but it swivels...

0

Tickover on the North Oxford

Onley to All Oaks Wood, near Brinklow: 11 miles, 3 locks            “So where’s Brinklow?” you may ask. In canal terms this sunny evening mooring is midway between the western side of Rugby and the eastern side of Coventry – and quite definitely in Warwickshire.             As the Captain was about to draw away from the towpath this morning the sage voice of another boater advised him not to bother – he was number 2 in a boat convoy that...

0

Company on board

Norton Junction to  Onley (North Oxford Canal):  7.5 miles, 1 tunnel, 6 locks           Godmanchester Friend came to call today. There had been a late evening phone call last night. “Where are you? Where will you be tomorrow? I have too much to do, I shouldn’t , I can’t, I think I will…! And where is Braunston?”  Self-respecting canalaholics will know that it is in the heart of the country, the junction of the Grand Union Canal going north to...