Sunday, 5 August 2012

To Atherstone

(Boats Chalice & Sickle - posted by Cath)
Sickle at Hawkesbury 'stop lock'
On from Ansty to Hawkesbury Junction where the North Oxford Canal meets with the Coventry Canal. There is a 6 inch 'stop lock' there, which originally was the limit of the two canals, and the stop lock protected the water of each canal company - back in the days when all carrying on the canal was paid for by tolls to the canal companies.

Outside the Greyhound at Hawkesbury Junction
We turned under the old cast iron bridge, and then turned right, away from Coventry, heading North. Through Nuneaton, and past the historical coalfields of the Midlands, where the boats used to pick up coal to take south - although the biggest 'spoil heap' is 'Mount Judd' at Judkins Granite Quarry.

Turning onto the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction
As we got to the top of the Atherstone Flight the sky darkened again, the rain started, and lightning spat across the sky. I was all for stopping for a while to let the storm pass, especially as we were immediately following another boat down the flight and would have to turn each lock twice to get both boats through.

Working down Atherstone - working every lock twice
I was outvoted, so put on a full set of wet weather gear, which I then had to discard as we went down the flight and the rain stopped and the Sun came out.


Atherstone flight

Michael and I were working ahead, turning each lock, and trying to set the lock ready for Alan and David who were following us down - but as we were both turning our lock, and then turning it again for Sickle, it wasn't long before they caught up with us.

Leaving Lock 8 Atherstone
Eventually we got to the bottom of the flight, where we moored, only a mile or so from Grendon Dock where we were to leave Sickle - ready to swap some things off her and do an oil change in the morning

Ansty (Northern Oxford Canal)
to Atherstone Bottom Lock (Coventry Canal)
Miles: 16.6 (Each boat), 33.2 (Combined),
Locks: 24 (12 single locks for each boat)
Total Miles: 171.9, Locks:66 (Worked)

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