Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sent to Coventry

After the Crick boat show we thought we should visit Coventry.  This involved going back down the Leicester line to Norton junction to join the Grand Union.  Then head west through Braunston and rejoin the Oxford canal at Braunston turn.  Then head north to the end of the Oxford canal when it meets the Coventry canal at Hawkesbury junction.  Not too many locks - 17 over the 37 mile journey.

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Take away in a pub

When we were locking down the Braunston flight our friends Cheryl and Stuart from Leicester came and joined us.  In the evening we all went to the Admiral Nelson and also met up with Dave and Barbara and their friends; they were mooring overnight at the pub on their trek back to Cheshire.  We all fancied eating in the pub but it was closed for food on Mondays so they let us order in a Chinese takeaway!

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Willoughby

We stayed for a while at Willoughby where we found a good pub with a pleasant walk across the fields from the canal.

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We also took the opportunity to install a new cooker as the previous one had done its duty during the 15 years the boat was a hire boat! This is the old one out…

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…and the new one being wheeled along the tow path and nearly installed. Had to have a cuppa first to make sure all was working before completing the installation.

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We went through Rugby which has some short tunnels with towpaths;

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Whilst filling up with water at Hillmorton this large family swam past which rather reminded us of our large brood!

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The final seven locks on the Oxford included six that were doubled up (i.e. in pairs) to take the increased volume of traffic in the 19th century.

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Stuart and Cheryl came and joined us again at Hillmorton but unfortunately did not get another cruise.  There was a leak in the gas cooker pipe so Stuart and I spent the afternoon tracking down, getting and fitting a replacement.  Still, Stuart and Karen cooked a lovely meal that evening.

Hawkesbury junction is quite pretty considering we were between Rugby and Coventry.

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On the way down the Coventry canal we passed the Coventry football stadium and these rather fine weavers’ cottages.

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The basin itself was quite pleasant but the area outside was really rough.  The bridge at the entrance to the basin is reputedly the smallest on the canal system; there was no towpath and shutters used to be pulled down at night to secure the basin in the old days. We wandered into the city on Saturday evening but felt rather out of our comfort zones so soon scuttled back to the boat.  The basin has been renovated but unfortunately the retail units were tattoo parlours and greasy spoons rather than cafes, bars and shops as in places like Birmingham:

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