Thursday, 31 March 2016

Moored at Braunston

Thursday 31st March

On Tuesday morning we moved off our mooring and onto the water point close by to top up the tank, once we were full Kev walked to the stop lock while I brought R&R round.
Looking back to the junction
Ready to leave the stop lock.
As we got around the first bend  & through the footbridge we could see something in the canal and as we got closer....
I think Sue on Nb No Prblem had commented on this?
The towpaths are in a very bad state and in places are like quagmires, so finding somewhere to moor for lunch and let Jaz off without getting thick mud was a challenge but we managed to moor just before bridge 26 where it wasn't too bad, and once we had a sandwich & Jaz had been out we headed off again.
Spotted this squirrel having something to eat along the way.
When we approached Newbold tunnel  we noticed all the lights that used to light up the roof of the tunnel were not on at all, the last time we came through here only a few were on so now it is in darkness but it is only a short tunnel and you are through it in minutes.
Through Newbold Tunnel
As we were approaching the visitor moorings we spotted a familiar boat...
As we passed we saw Both Sue & Vic  through the window so Kev sounded the horn and Sue came out onto the bow.
Sue always has a smile on her face!
We had a brief chat and will probably see Sue & Vic on the Thames. We wanted some shopping so as we got through bridge 58 at Rugby we were going to moor on the towpath side to got to the Tesco  but it was so muddy we moved across to the other side and moored on the 24 hour mooring. I don't know if anybody knows how long there has been a water point there! No signs at the water point so we moored just passed it leaving plenty of room for anybody who wanted to use it, plenty of boats that passed said they hadn't realised a water point was there and nobody stopped to use it! A lady who was moored ahead of us told us that there is no cassette emptying there now, but we didn't need either the water or to empty a cassette. There are a lot more new shops at the retail park here now, a bit of a walk but there is plenty to choose from if you want to do a bit of retail therapy, too many for me to write.
Yesterday we didn't outstay our 24 hours and left around 10am, as we got to the first locks at Hillmorton there was a couple of volunteer lockies and so we went straight into the lock. Kev got off there and helped with the paddles and then the lockie told him to go to the next lock to get it ready for  me but there was a boat coming out of one of them so I was able to go straight in once again. 
In the second lock
Nearly ready to leave the last lock at Hillmorton
We stopped just beyond the Barby straight to let Jaz have a walk and have a sandwich and then we set off towards Braunston.
a tiny bunny sitting close to the rabbit hole for safety!
Lovely to see some spring lambs
Braunston church not too far away
We were hoping to get moored in Braunston but all the moorings were full and so we ended up going up 3 of the locks and moored in the pound between locks 3&4, we wanted to moor before lock 3 near the Admiral Nelson pub but the towpath was too muddy and as Kev went to the lock it was very slippery under the bridge at lock 3, I chuckled to myself as he nearly fell into the mud but I was glad he never as I didn't have the camera ready! We have never seen the towpaths so muddy!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Off the Ashby to see a Greyhound!

Sunday 27th March
Yesterday was a terrible day weather wise with wind & rain most of the day, so we stayed put I did a wash & a tidy up while Kev changed the oil in the engine & gearbox. Yesterday a familiar boat moored just ahead of us NB Caxton which was once owned by Lesley & Jo (NB Yarwood) and then the last owners were Paul & Elaine who are now in Mojocar in Spain. We never met the new owners  as nobody ventured from the boat due to the heavy wind & rain!
NB Caxton, we are moored just ahead.
This morning we decided to make a move and we left Stoke Golding about 8am and headed to the winding hole at bridge 34 where we turned and reversed back onto the water point there to top up with water, empty the cassette & get rid of rubbish. We changed our minds about heading to the end of the Ashby Canal with the weather forecast for tomorrow being very windy, we wanted to get back onto the Coventry Canal.
Once we were all sorted at the services we set off and when we were passing our previous mooring at Stoke Golding I noticed a man & a woman with a young horse long reining it on the road while it was a nice quiet Sunday morning.

The wind started to gust at times but at least it didn't rain, when we got to the moorings opposite the Limekilns pub at bridge 15 we moored and had a bite to eat & take Jaz for a walk. We then continued to to Marston junction to turn left back onto the Coventry Canal and as we were just approaching the bridge there was a boat coming to turn onto the Ashby, they were coming from the direction we wanted to be so they waited and let us through. when we were getting close to Hawkesbury junction the rain started but didn't last long and had stopped as we were pulling over to moor just before the water points. We are going to go for a few pints at the Greyhound pub later, well it would be rude not to!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

On to the Ashby

Saturday 26th March

On Thursday morning we left our mooring at Atherstone about 7.40am, as we were up and about early as usual. It was a cloudy start to the day and cool again too and by the time we were going through Nuneaton it started to rain so I left Kev at the tiller and took Jaz inside.
Once we were at Marston junction Kev turned onto the Ashby canal and when we got to the moorings at bridge 5 we moored up for the day.
Yesterday was a complete contrast to Thursday with the sun shining quite early. Good Friday then was a nice start for the Easter weekend but unfortunately the forecast wasn't good for the rest of it!
We were away about the same time as Thursday and it was lovely in the sun, and we had the canal to ourselves, there were a few fishermen about making the best of the weather.
As we were through Coventry Road bridge we noticed a boat across the canal, the stern was close to the bank on the towpath side and his bow was at the other side! He had been moored outside the pub at Trinity marina, we couldn't tell at first if anybody was on board but we could see as we approached slowly that the engine wasn't running and so we managed to back up slightly and got into a private mooring that was empty and Kev got off R&R then he went to pull the boat back onto its mooring& tie it back up!

All tied up once again, no sign of the owner!
Our good deed done we carried on our way, we were going to head for Stoke Golding and we arrived at the 48 hour moorings there in brilliant sunshine, so Kev was pleased as it meant that the solar panels would do a good job of keeping the batteries topped up. We took Jaz for a walk up to The Dog & Hedgehog pub at Dadlington and we sat outside in the sunshine, there were great views from there. The village had some lovely properties and one had a very odd form of transport......
 Kev took this photo of a horse drawn caravan on a drive, no horse anywhere!
After we had finished our beers we walked back down to our mooring and walked across the field to Stoke Golding and we stopped to have another beer in the beer garden at The White Swan pub, bit of a pub crawl, as when we had finished our beers there we then walked to the next pub George & Dragon and sat in their beer garden. We were making the best of the weather like quite a few other people were! When we got back to R&R we sat in the cratch, a few boats on the move now including 3 hire boats from the Ashby hire boat company, we feel for them as the weather isn't good for the next few days but I am sure they won't let it spoil their holiday!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Rock & Roll with the Roosters!!

Wednesday 23rd March

We arrived at Polesworth visitor moorings about 11.30am to find NB Roosters Rest moored there all on its own so we moored just passed them, Terry had come out to help us. It was lovely to see Pam & Terry again they are a really lovely couple and good for a laugh too!
Jaz on the lookout for Pam & Terry!
Both boats like bookends!
Once we were moored securely Pam made us a cuppa, she had a hair appointment for 1pm so I had a walk with her into Polesworth village leaving Kev & Terry back at the boats. While Pam was having her hair done I had a walk around as I have never been into Polesworth village before although we have passed through it several times this is the first time we have actually managed to get moored here. It is quite a surprising village with a good mixture of properties.

A lovely thatched cottage
This house  above is opposite the Coop & just passed it is the church entrance  & Old Abbey
This is the old gate to the Abbey
This is information about the Abbey

After a walk about I went to the hairdressers to meet up with Pam, as I got there the hairdresser was finishing Pam's hair & so I sat for a few minutes before we both left and headed back to the men back on board R&R having a couple of beers!(Surprised! No not a bit) So both Pam & myself joined them!
Later on after having a good natter and a few more beers Kev & Terry went to one of the Chinese takeaways & brought the food back to R&R and very enjoyable it was too. A lovely time with Terry & Pam as always.
This morning we were all preparing to go our separate ways, Roosters Rest was heading to Fazeley while we were heading off towards Atherstone.
Just leaving!
Big smiles as usual, bye for now.
We got to the the bottom lock at Atherstone and after we had gone up the first two locks we moored and had a bite to eat and take Jaz for a walk before setting off again and we went up the next 4 locks and are now moored between lock 6 & 5 & will stay here for the night.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Good weekend at Fradley

Tuesday 22nd March

We spent the weekend at Fradley, we went to the Swan a couple of times and there was a new barman called Mark who was lovely & very friendly too. There wasn't food being served as the  new owners were having the kitchen fully refurbished but hopefully Mark said that they should be ready to serve food for this coming Easter weekend. There was new central heating system in and apparently upstairs in the living accommodation there hadn't been any central heating as all the rooms had electric heaters plugged in! So I expect the electricity bills would have been high for the previous owners!
On Saturday there weren't many boats about but on Sunday what a different story, the sun was shining and there were quite a few boats passing both ways. Plenty of people about too as the car park next to the cafe was full and also there were plenty of motorbikes going to meet at The Swan car park too. The first bikes were mainly Harley Davidsons but more vintage bikes arrived too and Kev had a walk to see them.

 Some of the bikes leaving Fradley

What a beautiful day it was and some people were even in T-Shirts, but what a compete difference Monday was! It actually started quite bright but as we left our mooring and moved onto the water point it clouded over! I had put a quick wash on and by the time the water tank was about full the washer had finished too!  We then set off & Kev went to Junction lock to empty it for me and then once I was out of the lock I turned left onto the Coventry Canal & Kev walked to open the swing bridge for me.  As were were cruising along it became quite cold and miserable but at least it wasn't raining!
As we were on the stretch of canal beside the busy A38 heading towards Streethay Wharf I saw a woman walking 2 black Labradors she shouted over to me asking if we were heading for the Thames and as I answered her I realised who she was, it was Lesley from Nb Yarwood and following her was Jo at the tiller so Kev took a couple of photos as he passed us

We started seeing swans preparing their nests!
These 2 we have seen several times in the same place"Huddlesford Junction"(if they are  the same pair)
When we got to Sutton Bridge we moored and went to get some shopping at Asda, it is about a 15minute walk to Ventura retail park where there are plenty of different stores.
Once we were back on board and our shopping unpacked Kev took Jaz and walked to Fazely and I followed on R&R and that is where we moored for the night. We will head to Polesworth today where we hope to meet up with Pam & Terry on NB Roosters Rest who are already there.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

A few good days cruising & a Gem of a pub!

Thursday 17th March

We have had some good weather since leaving Shardlow, on Monday we were moored above Stenson lock and had a walk across to The Bubble Inn which is a pub we have never been to before even though we have been past plenty of times, we took Jaz and actually sat outside in glorious sunshine!
On Tuesday though the weather wasn't as good but at least it didn't rain and the towpaths are recovering from all the wet weather, we moored just before Shobnall Marina at bridge 33 and we had a walk to a pub that Kev had been told about when he was in the dry dock blacking R&R. It was about a 20minute walk and is on Cross Street opposite the Coors Brewery and it is called The Coopers Tavern. I don't know how many of you fellow boaters have ventured to this little gem but what a surprise it was to find a pub that was once a place where the breweries used to store bottled beer and the men started to have a drink there so much so that it was then made into the pub it is today! Very friendly too, I only took one photo as there where a lot of people in the other 2 rooms, and I felt a bit odd taking photos but now I wish I had...
This is the main bar the till is the blue object on the left of the photo where you are served!
Yesterday morning before we left Shobnall Kev reversed R&R into Shobnall Marina to fill with fuel 59 pence per litre and then I walked with Jaz to our first lock of the day Branston Lock while Kev stayed on R&R following me to the lock where I did have help from a nice young lad called Michael, he is always around helping people through the locks and he had helped us last year when we were heading back to Shardlow. Once we up through Branston lock I got back on board with Jaz, and Michael closed the lock gate for us, he went walking off ahead of us with his dog and was waiting at the next lock which was Tatenhill  and helped us once again! We said our goodbyes to him there and we carried on, by the the time we were through Wychnor lock and on the short stretch of river leading to Alrewas the wind had picked up, We finally got up through the lock at Alrewas and managed to moor before the water point.
This morning I did some cleaning and Kev washed the towpath side of the boat, another lovely day, although this morning it was a bit grey but after lunch with the sun shining we had a walk with Jaz heading to Fradley and we did think to stop for a pint when we got there but we both realised neither of us had any money with us! So we didn't make it that far and turned around before we got to Common lock.
Jaz almost grown up now and has just finished her first season!
Our hosepipe reaches the first water tap so Kev filled up our tank!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Start of 2016 cruising!

Monday 14th March

Well we are now back aboard Rock & Roll and ready to start cruising again, we actually got to our marina in Shardlow on Saturday. We unpacked the car and once we had everything put away in their places and had taken Jaz for a walk we went into Long Eaton for some shopping at Asda. We wanted to move out of the marina that day as the flood lock was going to close on Sunday morning for repairs so once we had got back with the shopping we left our marina and had a short cruise and moored on the visitor moorings passed the pubs, we wanted to moor where the pubs are but there were 3 boats already there and there wasn't enough room for us but that was fine. On Sunday morning Kev left me here and took the car home where he cleaned it and put the cover on it & plugged the battery charger in to maintain the battery level, the plan was that he would ride his motorbike to my mam's in Hull, put the bike in her garage hooked up to another battery charger & then get the train back to Long Eaton today. But as it was such a lovely day he decided to come back on his bike and is leaving it on the marina. All good plans change!
Yesterday morning after Kev had left I took Jaz for a walk to see if there were any sign of work starting on the flood gate but nobody was there. Later on in the morning 4 hire boats passed heading in the direction of the River Trent which was in flood as was the River Soar, so about midday I had another walk with Jaz and found the workmen preparing things at the flood lock.

This was when I first had a walk
Then later on plenty of activity!
You can just see one of the men in the water, there was another at this side too

Looking back at the flood Lock
I carried on to Derwent Mouth Lock I found all 4 hire boats moored and all locked up!

There were 3 private boats ahead of these all waiting for the River Trent and the river level markers were in red. I noticed at about 4pm 2 of the hire boats had gone down through the lock and apparently   the hire company had sent their men back for them, there was however a private boat just entering the lock to go onto the river.
We are heading off from Shardlow today and probably moor at Willington for the night.