Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Big Walk!

Sunday 16th June, 2013 at Long Itchington
A big walk? Ten miles in fact!! We had read in the canal guides about places of interest in the vicinity, so after breakfast we set off on foot along the tracks of the Leamington and Weedon branch line, which closed in 1958 - so it didn't even survive to the time of Dr. B**ch*ng. The old track-bed was very overgrown and we kept an eye open for Drs. Livingston, Stanley or perhaps even Lord Lucan lost in the undergrowth.
The path led us to a "Model Village" - not minatures but a real village built for workers in the local cement works. The street through the middle is actually called "The Model Village" and the houses were beautifully kept. Unfortunately the local council had added more homes in typical 1960's box style, completely out of keeping with the distinctive original houses.
As we walked up from the old railway cutting to the Model Village, we crossed a field that had recently been cut for turf. The sight reminded R of the turf that his family sold from Hill Farm in the late 60's.
We then, rather rashly, set off back down the canal to Calcutt locks. Our friend Angela had made an offer on a narrowboat that was moored in Calcutt Marina next to the locks, so we thought that we would walk down and take a look at it. The walk was lovely and it enabled us to take a closer look at some of the things that we had only glimpsed from MM - such as this large gorilla with its small companion!
Ventnor Marina (opposite Calcutt Marina) yielded two surprises: another Kingsground boat (nb "Catnap") and a boat called "Fiddlesticks Free" that had been a Canal Boat Magazine's "Boat of the Month" four years ago and which we had been shown through at the Beale Park show by the builder (only to discover that we didn't like it!).
Angela's boat nb "Little Gem" was appropriately named; as it really did look like a lovely little gem. It was clean and in very good condition. 
On the way back we saw that a boat with a strange huge funnel was belching steam as the owners prepared to take it for a spin. Lovely to see a real steam boat on the canal.
After five hours and ten miles walking, we hobbled back to MM for a reviving cup of tea.
Today: 10 miles on foot, but none on MM.

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