Saturday, 30 April 2011

Return to Kingswood Junction.

Eleven locks were climbed in an hour and a half. Two of the pounds had to be filled before we could get through. If this dry spell lasts I can see lots of problems on the system. That evening(Wednesday)after a further eight locks we were moored at Lowsonford where we went for a meal at the Fleur-de-Lys public house. Their speciality is pies, which were very nice, however some of the food was a little disappointing.
Next morning we set off on the final leg of our journey back to Kingswood Junction. On the way up the locks at Preston Baggot we were surprised to see a car up a tree(see photo)also at this lock the lockside cottage which dated from 1810 had been extended in 1989 to make a fair sized dwelling. Arriving at lunch time we had something to eat then went in Pamela and Nathans car to Packwood House another National Trust property. It was a sunny day with a slight breeze which made walking round the grounds very pleasant. The house is a late 16th century Tudor building. On our return to the boat Pamela, Nathan and Archie left for home after a lovely week. Marlene and I stayed at bridge 65 until this morning having watched the Royal Wedding yesterday. I was surprised that the power lasted as well as it did with the daytime viewing, The sun and the solar panels did well. we are now heading for the 21 locks of the Hatton Flight and Warwick.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Shakespeare Country.

Mooring near bridge 65 near the Navigation Inn on Friday morning we waited for Pamela, Nathan and Archie to arrive. Pamela and Nathan were leaving Archie and the dogs while they went to see Katie Melua in Sheffield.
On their return on Saturday lunch time we all had a meal at the pub then walked to the National Trust house at Baddesley Clinton. While there we went on a Easter Egg Hunt. Leaving early Sunday morning we did seven locks on the Stratford-on-Avon canal before stopping for breakfast. Carrying on we did another eleven locks then moored at Wootton Wawen for the night. After a cup of tea we had a look round the near by craft centre.
Easter Monday we completed the trip down to Stratford doing a further seventeen locks, arriving at three o'clock. We found a place to moor in Bancroft Basin in the centre of town. Stratford was in tourist mode with street entertainers in the park. The weather was hot and sunny,it could'nt have been better. This morning we walked round town then went to a play ground for Archie to have a play. After lunch we left the basin and started our trip back. Our plan was to moor at Wilmcote for the night(the home of Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden) and go for a meal to celebrate Pamela and Nathans Anniversary. Unfortunately things didn't go to plan so we are moored for the night at the bottom of Wilmcote locks. So in the morning we will start the day with a climb of 77ft 1in in eleven locks.
Then hopefully we will have a delayed celebration tomorrow evening. Pictures are a typical lockside cottage on the Statford Canal and Doublefracture moored in Bancroft Basin.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Knowle and Knowle Locks.

After our long haul round Birmingham we had a quiet day at Catherine De Barnes. In the morning we took a walk round the village, that did not take long as it is a very small village but very pleasant. Shopping was the order of the day on Wednesday. Mooring near bridge 72 we walked into Knowle, a lovely little market town. Unfortunately the only supermarket was a Tesco Metro,not as cheap as the larger Tesco's. The mooring was very rural but just to the side of the flightpath to Birmingham Airport.The weather this week has been perfect, warm and sunny.
Today we moved on collecting some gas from the Stephen Goldsborough Boats at the top of Knowle locks. then descended the five locks, a drop of 41ft 10ns. Knowle locks are two boats wide and we were lucky to be joined by Andrew, Nicola and their two girls Alice and Emma in their boat Moonlight. On wide locks life is much easier when you can share the lock with another crew. At the bottom of the locks we stopped for water while they went on to the Herons Nest at bridge 70. Before setting out this morning I decided to give myself a number 4 hair cut,however I forgot to put on the plastic number 4 comb, so the first two cuts nearly scalped me. Now I have a bald patch over my right ear. Photo's are last nights sunset and my haircut mistake.

Monday, 18 April 2011

On the Rise

Setting off on Sunday morning we started the first of Seven Locks and one tunnel. With the tree from Friday we have gone up 76ft 4ins. Mooring at Wiggins Hill Bridge for the Night we prepared to go round Birmingham first thing this Morning.
Eight thirty saw us on the move, it was going to be a long day. In the first two mile we went up three locks,then three mile on we turned left at Salford Junction taking us under the M6. This took us from the Birmingham and Fazeley canal onto the Grand Union canal. Five more locks brought us to Bordesley Junction and the six locks of the Camp hill Flight These eleven locks lifted us a further 76ft 4ins. At the top lock is a very nice service point where we filled up with water and had lunch. Thee next two and a half hours were spent cruising through the suburbs of Birmingham, very depressing, the canal full of junk. We finally arrived at the village of Catherine de Barnes where we moored for the night. Surprisingly I have a very good internet signal 3G+ long may it last.The pictures are Salford Junction and The service point.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Turn Right at Fazeley.

Starting off Wednessday morning we cruised down to Wittington where we walked over to the post office to send off a parcel. After lunch we carried on to Hopwas. This is all familiar ground we have cruised before, normally we would call for a drink at the Tame Otter, However I have not been well for a few days so I'm off the drink till i recover. Stopping at Sutton Road bridge on Thursday morning and walked to a retail park on the edge of Tamworth to do some shopping,I'd been told about this by a woman we met at Rugeley. Stocked up again we went on to Fazeley Junction where we turned right onto the Birmingham to Fazeley Canal, this is new ground for us.
Just after turning you pass Drayton Manor Leisure Park and Zoo. That night we moored at Drayton Brick Bridge, opposite some old Gravel Pits. Having had no locks since Fradley we had three on Friday, this brought us to the Dog in a Doublet where we moored last night.
A bright and sunny start this morning so we took a walk round Kingsbury Water Park, another set of flooded gravel pits. Feeling better we called at the pub for a lunch time pint, first for a week.Pictures are Mooring and a sign next to the field at the side of the pub, seems a bit of over kill as all it says is Dog field.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Connection problems still.

Still having problems getting online. On the first of April we left the boat at Wolseley Bridge and took the bus to Lichfield then on to Birmingham where we caught the Train to Theale(which is near Reading) then took the bus to our son Stephens.
We spent a few days with him and the boys then went into London and took our trip on the London Eye which our daughter Pamela gave us for Christmas. This was on the fith of April,our 42nd Wedding Anniversary. We stayed the night in London before returning to Doublefracture on the 6th.
On our way to Fradley Junction we moored just above Kings Bromley marina where we met Marie and Ray. Arriving at Fradly on Friday we moored and waited for the arrivAl of our other son Richard and his wife Gill and little Duncan. Sunday morning we cruised down to Alrewas to turn round then back to Fradly, in the evening they went home and we stayed over night. Yesterday we moved down the Coventry Canal to bridge 90 where we moored for the night.