Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Curdworth to Hawkesbury Junction

 Tuesday 13 September Kingsbury Water Park, Curdworth, to Atherstone (12 miles, 8 locks)

After a look over the lakeside view, we set off the few miles to Tamworth. The day improved steadily. This stretch of canal is rural and quite pretty. We passed the Drayton Manor theme park on the way.

 Creeping out at Fazeley Junction, we turned South under the tight little bridge and soon arrived at the two Glascote locks, passing over the River Tame on the way. We passed up these by ourselves.

Liana left Annie to retrieve the car from Stourport-on-Severn. John took Annie along the long pound through Glascote, where he attacked a weeping willow which threatened to sweep our flowers off the roof. He continued on past Alvecote Marina and Polesworth to moor for lunch in a peaceful and pretty oak lined glade half a mile before the M42 underpass.

Past Pooley Hall, hiding above in the trees, we spotted a ruined swing bridge in the brambles. A farmer was doing a good job, hedge trimming.

Annie passed Grendon boatyard, which has a good dry dock, although the yard, house and an ancient narrowboat have seen better days.

Once he reached the bottom Atherstone locks. John took Annie up by himself, with some help from oncoming boat crews passing down the locks. Thank you!

Reaching Baddesley Basin, Liana appeared to help us up lock 6 to moor just above, near the Kings Head pub. Despite nearby trains, we slept well.

Wednesday 14 September South from Atherstone to Nuneaton (6 miles, 5 locks)

After a dry night, we did the online word game Wordle, a recent interest, and proceeded up the locks to the services at the top, crossing over with a couple of boats, making life easier. A Volunteer helped at lock 2, where the top gate had been left open by the boat ahead of us. As Annie moved into lock 1, which had its bottom gates open, There were no Volunteers until Liana rousted them out of their bothy  - we had sneaked up on them, they said!

After using the services for Elsan and water, we moored nearby, opposite the vandalised old factory, and walked into town for a coffee and sandwiches with chips. Atherstone is a pleasant enough little town, once the home of hatters and snobs (cobblers). There is still one there!

The Coventry Canal heads SE on a terrace above the Anker valley, past the Alpaca farm and moorings. We passed plenty of boats moored with good views. The newish Mancetter Marina looks to be full, but there is still half a mile of boats moored on line before it.

We moored in the sun at 1630, opposite the recreation ground  after bridge 22.

Thursday 15 September Nuneaton to Hawkesbury Junction (6 miles, 1 lock)

Today Liana travelled all the way back to Stourport- on - Severn by bus and train, then brought the car back to Sutton Stop (aka Hawkesbury Junction). Quite a trip! 

Meanwhile, John took Annie past gardens and under many bridges out of Nuneaton, past the site of the old Griff Arm. 

This is now being redeveloped, with a huge warehouse, so it may not survive to be restored one day.Nuneaton and Bedworth are growing closer, eating up countryside. There were lots of boats moored before Marston Junction. Charity Dock was colourful! Along a long overgrown cutting, Newdigate Colliery Arm junction was still there, overgrown. 

Reaching a quiet Sutton Stop, John opted to make the turn, mooring outside the Greyhound Inn while a boat came out of the shallow stop lock. There was a CRT Volunteer assisting. The little office nearby had a CRT publicity display outside. John moored around the corner once through, on 14 day moorings, with six pins, two at bow and stern, plus one each from front side cleat and centre T stud, as we were leaving her there while we travelled to Wales to babysit our lovely grandchild Hope. Au Revoir!

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