Ansty and a lovely day 3 boating

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A great spring day boating with a mix of warm sunshine,cloudy cold bits and a lovely warm sunny spring evening, managed to get in just before bridge 14 at Ansty - just what boating is all about. We stopped by bridge 58 in Rugby and nipped into the nearby Tesco for a few bits.It was so noticeable when we left the slow remote world of the canals and briefly joined the hectic world- it was so nice to get back.
A few pictures of our day
A very different boat name

Some of the bridges you go under going through Rugby have some great murals

Showing Rugby's canal history 

Showing Rugby's railway history

Showing Rugby's rugby history

A very large tree which has come down in a cutting presumably due to the wet winter and strong winds we had recently
When I saw this horse in the distance it looked as if it had an unusual colour pattern. On a closer look could this be the equivalent of a horsey onesey!

Not a name this time but a boat representing the 1970's

During the early 1800's the North Oxford canal had many of its wanderings straightened out -in total 15 miles were taken out. These old loops were bridged by the lovely Dursley Iron Works bridges.

Hilmorton Locks day 2 and goodbye to Wigrams Turn Marina

Monday, 29 April 2013

Our delayed trip to the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canal finally started yesterday with us leaving home at 06.45 for our final trip to Wigrams Turn Marina. They have increased our fees by 33% so therefore after 7 years it was time to move on. We both agreed that the 3 hour journey was the longest we wanted to do so therefore it had to be near Braunston. We have arranged to go into Calcutt Marina on our return which is one mile and three locks away. As we left the crews of Canterbury Pearl and Moonshadow waved goodbye.
Braunston Turn junction-my favourite-now even better after CRT volunteers have tidied it up and planted some spring sunshine

Mother coot on her nest in Wigrams

She has it on an old post right next to the main channel into the services part of the marina and is not phased at all by the passing boats

Napton Junction or Wigrams Turn from the bridge crossing the Grand Union Main line to the Calcutt locks.Left is to Braunston and right is to the Napton flight of locks on the Oxford canal with the marina straight ahead. I had just walked back from Calcutt Marina after moving the car.

Bronze age boat

We have not been able to start our spring cruise as we have been waiting for some important documents which finally arrived last Saturday. We had been kicking our heels all the time except for a few days out. One of them was to the Dover Museum to see a very very old boat. We had to do something boaty. The 3500 year old boat was discovered in 1982 when they were building a new road in the centre of Dover. It has been protected all this time in the mud of the River Dove. This museum is excellent and if you are ever in the area its worth a visit. The workmanship in the boat is very impressive especially when you think it was around the time when Stonehenge was being built.

Stockton locks,Long Itchington and Blue Lias Inn

Friday, 12 April 2013

We had a great time last weekend when two motorhomes, one caravan and one narrowboat got together for a family and friends gathering at the Blue Lias Inn near Long Itchington and on the Grand Union canal main line. We moored on the offside of the canal whilst the others used the adjacent caravaning facilities.
We left Wigrams on the Thursday afternoon in snow showers and a strong cold wind - ah spring is so refreshing this year. A short trip as we moored by Ventnor Park Marina just past Calcutt locks-good for sattelite tv. Friday morning had a layer of thin ice on the canal but the wind had dropped. The cruise down through the eight Stockton locks was very pleasant as the sun had decided to come out and we could therefore take a few layers off. We had the company of a very competent Kate Boats hire crew from Aberdeen, a lovely day for cruising.
Saturday morning dawned cold again but the sun soon came out for our planned walk along the canal towards Bascote locks and at bridge 30 we turned onto Welsh Road so we could then take the Ridgeway into Long Itchington for lunch. Our plan was halted by The Wolfrun (or Muddy Run) which involved 5000 runners over 2 days who had paid £40 each to take part in a 10k off road wild run. We eventually got to Long Itchington and The Green Man which is a lovely local pub which does excellent sandwiches.

On our return to the Blue Lias Inn on Saturday it was warm enough to sit outside to enjoy the spring sunshine. We had dinner at the pub in the evening which was good basic food although it was a bit slow which could have been due to the fact that it was very busy.This is hopefully a good sign as we did notice that The Two Boats Inn by bidge 25 looked very deserted with a "sorry temporary closed" sign on the door.
Outside two of our four modes of transport

Working Royalty class nb Victoria built in the 1930's for the Grand Union Canal Co

Simon on the helm of BB with all our helpers going back up Stockton flight on the Sunday morning as we start to go back to Wigrams- we did the flight in under an hour if only we could have this crew more often.

Looking up Stockton flight from bridge 23 by the Blue Lias Inn. The original single lock is on the right. The double locks being built in the mid 1930's.

Adamant a very much converted/adapted replicate Bridgewater tug. The hull was a joey built in Birmingham in 1890,the compound engine built in 1895 and it all came together in 1988 with a new steam boiler
Near the Blue Lias Inn and just before the next lock is The Warwickshire Fly Boat Company which always has a lovely selection of working boats. 

At the top of the Sockton locks was this wide beam stealth like boat. 

BB on the right moored outside The Blue Lias Inn

nb Crane built in 1924 it has a very traditional Bolinder 15hp engine

No idea what make this is-it just looked interesting!