Saturday, 31 August 2013

"Sickle" On A Canal Completely New To Us.

(Retrospective post after failing to keep up! - Boat Sickle - posted by Alan)

Atherstone, yet again.
At the start of the year we set ourself a "stretch" target of all the festivals and historic boats we hoped we might get "Sickle" to in 2013.  It seemed fairly ambitious back when we drew it up, but, up until now, we have managed all we hoped to do.  However we always knew the fnal parts of it would take a bit of organsing.

The lockes are generally close together at the top of the flight.
The plan had the possibility of the Shackerstone Family Festival followed the very next weekend by the Stoke Bruerne "Village at War" event.  We have never been to Shackerstone, but "Village at war" is already a firm favourite of ours.  But we still have family circumstances where moving boats in the week is "challenging", so could we possibly do both?

Making the turn at Marston Junction.
We decided to go for Shackerstone, but then make no firm decisions until we saw how things panned out.  So this weekend was about getting "Sickle" from Alvecote, (the last event) to Shackerstone (the next one).

We have never before been up any of the Ashby Canal.  Lack of time has meant whenever we have passed Marston Junction, where it joins the Coventry, we have never been able to go and sample it.  So, very unusually, it would be "Sickle" breaking completely new territory for us.

New territory - the old stop lock is very silted.
But first we had to get to Alvecote, and travel down the Coventry canal.  Alvecote and Shackerstone are well separated by canal, but remarkably close by road, but not close enough that we fancied cycling between the two to collect a car.  But driving two cars up seemed daft.  I put out a late appeal to see if anyone could help us, and almost immediately got two forum friends offering to carry us between one and the other - as neither were actually that close themselves, this really was a very generous gesture from each.  So we took up just the one car for a change.

Our travelling companion - and typical Ashby background scene
Atherstone locks are getting quite familiar to us - the fourth time we have worked a boat through in just a few weeks.  At the first lock a young man on a following boat said "I'll just tie my boat off" then I'll come and help you work the locks!".  Do we really look that old?  Needless to say once we got going we stayed well ahead, and never saw him again.

This is a very typical view of the surroundings.
We had been advised that the best place to try and get to for food when joining the Ashby is a pub called "the Limekilns", which is near Hinckley.  We would have to sit outside, as we had "Odin" with us, but unless the Ashby is really shallow, I thought we could just be there in time.  Well the Ashby, at least the first bit, seemed broadly OK, and progress was reasonable.  We did get our meal, but it was getting fairly dark as we ate it!

Alvecote (Coventry Canal) to The Limekilns (Ashby Canal)
Miles: 20.8, Locks:9

Total Miles: 458.4, Locks: 251

No comments:

Post a Comment