Before leaving Bradley Green this morning we pulled onto the service wharf to fill with water and empty a cassette, and just after we’d got the water running we realised that we’d chosen a bad time! The ’honey wagon’ pulled up to pump out the septic tank, and a bloke and his wife turned up in a van with 4 loo cassettes to empty into the Elsan, which was an open-air one right by our open side hatch! I hurriedly shut it but it was too late, and probably pointless anyway as the honey wagon was ponging up the place already! By the time we left the boat was well stinky, and all hatches, ports and doors were opened to help blow away the pong! After such an inauspicious start to the day, we hoped that the rest of the day would be better. It was sunny and cloudy with stiff breeze still blowing, but not much else happened that was memorable. We continued through Polesworth, the only item of note here is Pooley Hall, which dates from 1509, and is probably the oldest occupied building in Warwickshire. More recently, it has been the home of Edwin Starr, the soul artist. When we first started cruising this route it was easily seen from the canal and the wooden door was adorned with a shop dummy in full Guardsman uniform, bear-skin and all. Sadly, he has now disappeared, and all that remains is the canon. The trees have grown up along the canal bank , and all but hidden the hall, with just the one spot for a photo opportunity.
Crossing the River Tame by aqueduct – not usually anywhere near this wide!
Past Alvecote Priory, and Alvecote Marina where we used to moor our old boat ‘Teasel’ many moons ago. It’s always interesting to boat past and see how the place has degenerated, with several pontoons visible from the canal which have been broken for some years. Obviously nobody is spending any money on it! Onwards through Amington, Having a nosy into all the gardens which border the canal, some beautiful, others no more than rubbish dumps, and down through the two Glascote locks.
Fazeley Junction, where the Coventry meets the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal is being treated to some regeneration, but progress seems very slow as not much has changed there since this time last year.
Approaching the Junction
The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal
Old and new – the regeneration at Fazeley
There is not much mooring to be had between Fazeley and Hopwas, and what little there was had no room for us, so we continued on to Hopwas. Meanwhile, Rog get very wet in a short, but extremely sudden and viscious shower of rain. When we arrived we thought we were going to be disappointed as there were signs everywhere saying that mooring was suspended between Friday 29th June and Sunday 1st July. However, boats seemed to be ignoring the signs and mooring anyway. It wasn’t until we were almost through the village and adjacent to where we usually moor when we come this way, that we found out why – there was a sign in a boat window telling boaters to ignore the no mooring signs as ‘the flame has already passed’. Then it dawned – the Olympic Flame relay was planned to pass this way today on it’s way to Birmingham, although why that should mean no mooring is a mystery! Anyway, plenty of space here, so we are now moored for the night.
11.1 miles and 2 locks