*****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..*****

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A walk into Market Bosworth.

Map image

Hi Folks.

The wind had dropped and the rain had stopped, so we ventured out with my small rucksack on my back, we walked into Market Bosworth, which was about a mile from the boat and up hill.


We walked over the railway line, where Santa had been over the weekend.


On the way up the hill we came across this garden which was advertising the Market Bosworth Young Farmers. I wonder if the guys were meant for Bonfire Night?


We also passed this stunning little thatched cottage, in the garden it had a lovely hand water pump and old clothes wringer, as well as other fantastic items.

As we approached the Market town we walked past The Dixie Grammar School.


The earliest records for the school date back to 1320. The school was re-founded in 1601, this was done under the will of an Elizabethan merchant and Lord Mayor of London, Sir Wolstan Dixie, by his great-nephew Sir Wolstan Dixie of Appleby Magna, who came to live in Market Bosworth in 1608. The main building of today's school was built in 1828, which is shown in the photograph.

In the small market square was the Wednesday market, which had a few stalls. We stopped for a coffee in Café Torte down a little passageway just near the butchers in the market square, we got a pot of coffee for two and had 2 cups each for £3.30! This is more than we would normally pay, but needs must.


This quintessential English market town has some beautiful houses. The town itself dates back to the Bronze age and has a long and varied history.


The town has a large and outstanding church.  St. Peter’s Church looks very grand with a well groomed church yard. The church was open, and very beautiful it was inside too.


It dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.


In the tower their are eight bells, 2 of which date back to 1624 and 1630.


The font dates back to 13th century, unfortunately during the 20th century a pinnacle crashed from the tower through the roof and severely damaged the font.

As we walked back through the town, I went to the market and bought this years Christmas cards, vegetables and some Christmas nibbles, whilst I did that Keith bought us a pheasant from J. W. Lampard & Son Butchers for £3.50.


It will be part of our Christmas dinner.

Having really enjoyed our time in Market Bosworth, we began the walk back to the boat, which was all down hill, with a fabulous view across the valley. Back on the boat, I got on with lighting the back cabin stove, I then put my mind to making cheese and onion on toast, whilst Keith got on with updating Hadar's blog. With the back cabin stove lit, Marmite took up her position on the side bed, where it was nice and warm and Paddy crashed out in his bed in the saloon, anyone would think they both worked hard.

The afternoon is rolling along and I have nothing else planned, so I think that I will be putting my feet up until it is time to cook dinner.

Have read this in the Leicester Mercury about the water situation on the Leicester Line. If things do not improve, I hate to think what next year will be like.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Congerstone to Market Bosworth.

Map image

Hi Folks.

Congerstone to Market Bosworth 2.05 miles travelled in 50 minutes.

Last night there was a fantastic glow in the sky from Coventry, which lit up an old Oak tree.


I thought it looked amazing, but then I like odd things lol. Just had to photograph it.


This is how it looked this morning. It was a wild and wet start to my day as I walked Paddy along the towpath, but Paddy was non to bothered for a change, he was more interested in pawing at the waters edge. Paddy does not do swimming or water, but he does like to paw at the waters edge for some strange reason, so by the time we got to the boat, he front legs were wet and muddy. With breakfast out of the way and Mog and Dog fed, I turned my attention to both the fires. The back cabin stove I let out overnight, because it was very mild outside, so that had to be cleaned out and relit. The saloon fire just needed the old ash cleaning out of the bottom and then I filled the grate up with Supertherm, which would stay in all day and keep the warm hot for us.

At 9.35 we fired up the engine and cast off. There were no other boats on the move, probably because of the windy conditions, we passed some boats who look like they never move very far. Because it was a little wild with a strong wind, I let Keith steer the boat today. Fifty minutes later we had arrived at the Market Bosworth moorings, where there was plenty of room for us to moor up. A very uneventful hop, but it remained blustery. Coffee was made and then some lunch, before we donned our coats and walking boots to walk to the Bosworth Water Trust. The Bosworth Water Trust is a 50 acre leisure park with 20 acres of lake for dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and fishing.


By the time we got to the lake the weather had taken a turn for the worst, it was blowing a gale with driving drizzle.


The cafe and shop are only open on Saturday and Sunday's during the winter months.


It wasn't even a day for crazy golf. The last time I played crazy golf in weather similar to this, I was on the Isle of Wight for a weekend with our Worlds.com friends for a gathering in 2001. I was a little surprised not to see lots of waterfowl using the lake, there were the usual Mallards, a Cygnet and some farmyard ducks. Either the waterfowl do not stop off here, or they had been and gone. Having been blown all over the place, we decided to get back to the warmth and dry of the boat. Because of the wind the stoves are working over time, so it is extremely warm throughout the boat, which means I will be letting the back cabin stove out again tonight.

Chat soon xx

Monday, 28 November 2011

Congerstone and Bilstone walk.

I said I would be back again, and here I am.

After lunch, Keith and I set off for a stroll into Congerstone. We walked up on to Bridge 47 and down the road into the village. Congerstone is a small, peaceful village in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside. I would actually call it a sleepy little village, we passed a couple of houses and then saw the side of the pub.


I wonder if they have the sign that way up, so you can read it whilst your laying in the gutter after a heavy nights drinking?


The pub looks very grand for such a small village.

It seems like most small villages this one was once a farming community and whilst some of the farm buildings have been turned into dwellings, there are still a couple of farms carrying on the good fight.


The village is right on the doorstep of the National Forest and is bordered by the River Sence and the Ashby Canal. It has two listed buildings, the Church of St. Mary and the Old Rectory.


It is thought that the church was built in 1179 and is  now a Grade II listed building but it is also thought that non of the original exists today. The oldest parts of the building are the low tower and parts of the nave. There were some interesting and large gravestones.

After looking around the church, we set off along a footpath beside the church, which would take us to Bilstone a tiny hamlet, the footpath for some reason has been line with these protected trees.



This is the Mill sluice for the original Bilstone Mill. The mill house was rebuilt in 2006, with no sign of the original mill wheel, which is a shame. However the sluice is still operational if in need of some much needed maintenance.


This is supposed to be the mill pool above the sluice, which is definitely lacking in water. Which cannot be doing much for the Mill House which was fitted with a hydro electric power plant, when it was renovated. I reckon they must be struggling for power at the moment. Having finished our stroll around the hamlet of Bilstone we walked back to Congerstone via the footpath we had arrived by. It was an hour well spent and a chance for us to keep our fitness levels up. Back on the boat and the afternoon is now slowly descending into evening, so I will be cooking dinner and then settling down for the evening.

Chat soon xx

Shackerstone to Congerstone.

Hi Folks.

Shackerstone to Congerstone 1.44 miles travelled in 40 minutes.

A nice leisurely beginning to Monday, with there being no hurry to move off with only a short hop being undertaken. So Paddy had a nice run out across the field. He had his eye on a Pheasant, but the Pheasant was way to quick for him, so no free meal for us today.

With fires stoked, animals fed and of course ourselves all sorted we prepared the boat for the off. I asked Keith if I could move Hadar to Congerstone, so I cast off and we left our weekend mooring. I am still getting to grips with Hadar, as she is a force unto herself and nothing like our old boat. I set off with confidence passing moored boats, got to the aqueduct bend which is sharp and even though I could have possibly made it in one, but I took the prudent route and reversed slightly to give myself more turning room, because I did not want to cut the corner as it is very shallow there. Keith then left me to get on with it as he ducked into the engine room. I have always been pretty confident with bridge 'ole's and passing boats on the move or moored up, but today was the first time I was going to moor Hadar up, so with a little trepidation I got on with it and woooo hooo it went pretty well for my first attempt. Now I know there will be those who will be thinking "What is the problem with mooring a boat up"? Well there is no problem, but when you have never done it with a heavy old lump like Hadar it is a little daunting. I am thankful that Keith is an excellent teacher, he just lets me get on with it and only contributes if I ask him for advice or he can see I am getting things horribly wrong, which I have to say does not happen to often phew. So we moored up and NB Poacher came past, say good morning again, as we had passed them earlier. Out came the litter grabber, because I spotted a broom and mop no sooner we came in to moor, lying on the towpath in full view.


It turned out that there was a lot of rubbish between bridges 47 and 48 where we are moored. In the 190 yards (175 Metres)between the bridges I lost count of the dog poo bags we collected when I got to 50, yes I said 50 grrrrrrrrr, strange they were all black bags, so I wonder if they were from the same dog owner? We also collected a whole load of paper rubbish, an old mop bucket to go with the mop and broom and numerous bottles, there was also rubbish which had clearly come off a boats propeller, so why did that person not put that rubbish in a bin, why put it in the hedge?

Ok rant over, we are now enjoying heated up sausage rolls and home made cake, before we decided on what to do for the afternoon, so I may come back later and do an update.

Chat soon xx

Christmas comes to Shackerstone Station.

Yesterday we got into the Christmas Spirit by walking up to Shackerstone Station to see the the first of the Santa Special trains they are running for Christmas.


The Christmas tree in the station foyer, looked fantastic and very festive, who ever decorated it must have had a wonderful time and did a very good job.

They had a steam engine running which was brilliant. Sir Gomer was on duty for the day.


I love steam engines, there is something so magical about them when they are in steam.


The stoker was certainly keeping the fire box glowing.


With all the passengers onboard, there was a blow of the whistle and the train was off down the track. From what I saw there was not an empty coach as the train sped down the track towards Shenton Station three-quarters of a mile away. I hope that everyone had a wonderful ride, they were expected to be gone about an hour and a half.



Keith really loves steam engines, in fact he loves any railway engine, so it was a great opportunity to take a few photographs for the both of us.


With the train puffing off into the distance, we went into the Victorian Parlour Tearoom and had a coffee.


You can either sit outside, or do as we did and sit inside with the blazing fire.


It is a charming tearoom with a lovely atmosphere and a unique collection of old memorabilia. After our coffee and a warm in front of the fire we watched a type 2 class 25 D5217 (later 25067) taking on water for the steam heating boiler before shunting coaches through the station, taking good advantage of being able to run round.


It was an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning.

The rest of our day was spent on the boat, Keith got on with his new rag rug and I pottered about doing jobs and cooking food, for dinner we had roast chicken with roast potatoes and veg. The evening was spent watching X-Factor Results, where Janet was sent home, which was no surprise really and after that it was "I'm A Celebrity" which saw Pat Sharp and Lorraine Chase go home. I was surprised Lorraine was voted out, she is such a lovely lady. Pat got well and truly beat by Fatima Whitbread in a head to head challenge. After all that excitement it was then time for bed and a good nights sleep.


Saturday, 26 November 2011

Very True.

Saturday's Ramble.

Hi Folks.

Today Keith and I embarked on a ramble after getting the usual morning stuff out of the way on the boat.

We left the boat with the weather looking bright and a little breezy and walked up the towpath to opposite the motte and bailey.


The 11th/12th century medieval earthwork looked lovely in the morning sunshine, it is what remains of a castle motte and bailey. This flat-topped motte is partly enclosed by a wide ditch. To the south-west are traces of a bailey platform. The fortress was used as a World War II air raid shelter and rumour has it that there is still a rocking chair buried in there! We will only ever find out if this is true if Time Team come and visit ;0).

Opposite the motte and bailey is a signed footpath, which took us across the old railway, we followed numerous footpath signs and climbed over numerous styles.


Some took us across fields left to nature and another took us across a maize field.


Most of the maize had been harvested, there were just a few remaining ears left for the wildlife, which I am sure will devour what's left as the weather grows colder.


Yesterday I spoke about old buildings left to nature, this tractor has gone the same way, which is a dreadful shame.

We carried on walking, climbing over styles and stomping a long muddy tracks until we crossed back over the railway, where we came across a rather startled Squirrel.


It was unsure whether to go left or right, in the end it scuttled off to the left and we carried on our way to Help Out Mill, which we came to from the rear.


The mill itself has not been in use since the 1960's, but in its day produced flour.


The mill is situated on the River Sence, and is thought to have been the last remaining mill to have been in operation in Leicestershire. The building is very grand and must have been formidable in its day when the Timms family owned it. It is reported the family had been associated with the mill since 1734.

In the former granary is Help Out Mill Restaurant.


There have been many stories as to why the mill got the name Help Out Mill, some say it was to do with the sourcing and keeping of water, which was used to help other mills out when they ran low on water. A very pretty place which would have been very busy in its day. These days it is a place of nice food and wine.

We left the mill and walked along the drive way and back on to the main road into Shackerstone which would take us on a 3/4 mile walk. We then turned off on to the lane down to the Battlefield Railway.


We followed the arrow along the old railway track, up to the station.


I do love looking at old trains.


To think that these would have been hard at work, and now they are lovingly looked after by the people at the Shackerstone Railway Society, which began in 1969.


The station is getting ready for the Christmas Special runs which begin tomorrow, when Santa will be entertaining adults and children alike.


I really enjoyed my ramble today, which ended back on the boat and us eating soup and rolls for lunch.

After a relatively calm morning, the wind has gotten up and we have waves on the canal. Keith is sat making a new rag rug, Paddy is chomping his way through a hide bone and Marmite is laying on her bed in the engine room looking out of the port hole.

Chat soon xx

Friday, 25 November 2011

Snarestone back to Shackerstone Part 2.

Hi Folks.

I bet you did not expect to see me twice in one day.

I mentioned on Part One that I was off to do some lunch, well lunch was eaten in The Rising Sun Pub. The last time we ate there was some 3 to 4 years ago, when we came to one of the Shackerstone Festivals, so we thought we would see if anything had changed.


I am pleased to say nothing has changed, it is a warm and friendly pub and the food was still just as good as I remembered.


We both enjoyed Cod in beer batter, chips and peas all washed down by a couple of pints of Marstons Pedigree. SAM_0968

After such a huge lunch, we walked up past the old school which dates back to 1844. The school closed in the 1930's and it is now the village hall. We carried on up to the railways station, but it was all shut up, so we will have to wait until the weekend to have another look around.

On the way back to the boat the sky began to look ominous.


In the distance we spotted a rainbow.

As the afternoon wore on the wind got up and the rain began to fall, just as well we have the fires going. It is nice to be back at Shackerstone. If you have never cruised the Ashby Canal you are missing out on a real treat, because it is a lovely canal. The only draw back is it needs dredging badly. If only it was a little deeper it would be perfect in my opinion. But with cut backs here, there and everywhere, I think it unlikely it will be dredged anytime soon. So for now come and enjoy the Ashby Canal at snails pace, it is fantastic.

Chat soon xx


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