*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Hawkesbury Junction to the Atherstone Flight.

Hi Friends.

We had a nice start to the day, the sun was shining and there was no wind when I took Paddy out for his walk. As I walked up the towpath, I spotted NB Full Circle moored up and a wonderful smell of bacon coming from the galley, but because it was early I did not want to get Steve and his wife out to early, so Paddy and I went on our way.
We set off for Atherstone and no sooner we left the mooring, Steve came out of his boat to greet us. He said "Saw you on the TV, can I get your autograph please", which of course made us both laugh. We exchanged destinations and small talk, before we left Steve to have his breakfast in peace.
The morning was warming up nicely, so we were in for a good days cruising.
Just before coming into Nuneaton, we passed Charity Dock, which is one of my all time favourite boat yards. It is probably one of the strangest places you will ever see on the cut.
They have some fantastic dummies all dressed up, which are changed every now and again. Charity Dock is a boat grave yard for all sorts of boats. Charity dock is still a working boat yard.
Passing through Nuneaton and its many allotments, this was the only proper scarecrow I saw, not sure it will scare much. I call Nuneaton the land of allotments, you will see them all along the canal. They come in all shapes and sizes, with a huge variety of things being grown. Nationwide there is a shortage of allotments.
We passed this boat with its L-plate on the stern, it made me smile. I wonder when the P-plate will go up.We came past the BW yard at Hartshill. I knew we were close to Hartshill because I spotted the mountain of waste from the old Judkins Quarry, it is known locally as Mount Judd. The views across the Anker Valley are really very stunning, even with the railway running through it. Hartshill itself has been swallowed up by Nuneaton, which taken away its history of being a mining community. The history books say that the Romans may have settled at Hartshill and Hugh de Hardesshull chose it as a site to build his castle in 1125, giving him a clear view across the the peaks of Derbyshire on a clear day. Hartshill biggest claim to fame is that it was the birth place of poet Drayton in 1563. Drayton was supposedly a friend of both Ben Johnson and Shakespeare. If you get the chance to go to Hartshill, there are some lovely walks over Hartshill Green to Oldbury Camp, where there was a bronze Age hill-fort, which covers 7 acres.
At Bridge 36 we came across these two Blue Tops, in degrees of restoration. There are very few Blue Tops around today.
We got to Atherstone and soon realised we would have to go down the flight. We had hoped to moor at the top of the locks, but no room, so we carried on down through lock 5 and the 7 day moorings above lock 6. Looking closely at the map, we could actually be closer to the High Street from here than from the top of the locks, and a more pleasant spot to moor, more countryfied rather than industrial and urban.
having taken up the one remaining mooring, I made us some lunch before we walked into Atherstone to do a little browsing and shopping if we could find what we were looking for. Luckily in one of the cheap shops I found exactly what I needed and that was fly paper to hang in the saloon, to get rid of the pesky flies, which are beginning to annoy me. After a look around Atherstone, we began walking back to the boat, when I had a horrible thought that I had left the galley window open, which would mean that Marmite would be able to get off the boat and the boat was open to anyone wanting to be nosey. I quickened my pace a bit and as I came under the road bridge saw that in fact I had closed the galley window PHEW. I have no idea why I thought I had left it open. When I opened the back cabin door, Marmite was sleeping on the side bed and Paddy was sat on the floor looking up at me.
During the afternoon we had a visit from Andy and Lyra off of their boat moored at the bottom of the flight. Whilst I am dropping names of people we have seen today, I would like to mention NB Serena who was moored at Valley Cruises, we met the couple last year fleetingly and yet again today we did the same. So hi to you both if your reading the blog tonight.
It is now almost 7.30pm and I am now feeling a little bushed, so I will bid you a good day.

Chat soon xx

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