Saturday, 17 October 2015

Good Progress to Fradley Junction.

Saturday 17th October, 2015 at Fradley Junction.
A dry morning, if decidedly cool - so we wrapped up warmly. We set off to do the two Glascote locks. They are known as "Piggy Bank" locks because they are extremely slow to fill but very quick to empty!
M needed to visit M&S in Tamworth, so we moored up and walked the half mile into the large shopping centre - where there just happened to be well known store opposite the large M&S.
At Fazeley Junction, we were delighted to see another Kingsground boat, nb "Locksley". We were able to have a brief conversation as the two boats passed each other. The current owner, David, had fairly recently acquired it from the original owners and is very pleased with it. He wanted to make some changes inside and our good friend, Richie, did the interior woodwork for him.
Many of the old bridges on the Trent & Mersey Canal have small doors in their sides (on the right); these are designed to hold "stop planks" that can be inserted into slots in the narrow bridge hole to make a temporary dam to allow a section of the canal to be drained for maintenance.
A brief spell of sunshine picked out the pretty approach to Hopwas village. The sun was warm but the air was still very cold!
Beautiful autumn colours - you would never think that there is a military firing range in the woods on the left!
There is a stone marker to define the boundary between the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal (on the right) and the Coventry Canal (on the left). Originally, due to financial difficulties, the Coventry Canal stopped at Fazeley Junction, at Tamworth, where it met with the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal that connected it to Birmingham. But both the Trent & Mersey owners and the Birmingham & Fazeley owners were impatient to link their canals together so the T&M started building from Fradley Junction and the B&F started building from Fazeley Junction and they met at the point marked by this stone. Later, when it became rich, the Coventry Canal owners bought the T&M bit - so the junction is now between the Coventry and the B&F! Canal construction politics are fascinating but never simple!
We called in briefly to King's Orchard Marina to fill up with diesel and received a warm welcome. "Nice to see you again", they said. We had called in for a couple of nights two weeks ago on our way down to Braunston.
Opposite King's Orchard Marina is a small airstrip and, what looks like, a very upmarket livery stable. As we left, we couldn't help smiling as we passed two people on horseback, one wearing a high-vis jacket bearing the delightful legend "Caution, Old Bloke, Young Horse".
Our mooring tonight is just short of Fradley Junction. We made good progress today and are delighted that we have seen three Kingsground boats in as many days.
Today: 12 miles, 2 locks and 5.5 hours.
Trip: 494 miles, 337 locks and 365.2 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment