We set off at the normal time and had an hour or so before we got to the top of the Lapworth Locks. For some reason both of us forgot that there were two lift bridges in this length.
The sun was struggling to come out and there was a bit of a breeze too, but it was a pleasant trip through some tree lined corridors.
We passed this small basin at Hockley Heath where we had stopped for a little shopping at the start of the month but now seems ages ago,
We had just lowered the first lift bridge when a boat came round the corner following us. At the next one we let them through. This one is very close to the top lock of the Lapworth Locks. When they came through I wondered what was happening as they were full astern and bow truster 'wanging' away. They said it would be rude to overtake us so close to the top of the lock. As it turned out it would have made no difference as there was a boat going down any way. This is Helen in the pound between locks 1 and 2 I think.
I thought we had come across Prunella and Tim at the next lock as the lady was struggling with the paddles and the gates. She was only 4 ft nothing but we had a good chat and I said that she should just leave the bottom gates open and I would shut them for her when I got the lock ready for us. It worked quite well and occasionally I was able to go ahead and set the next lock for them too.
I saw this last time we were coming down these locks. It seems that many of these locks are approached on a bend and not only are there these split bridges but I think that this roller is to get a straight pull out off/into the lock when on the bend. This is the only one that still has the roller on it.
By Lock 14 there is a little shop and last time we passed this way we had an ice lolly. This time we passed the shop by as we were helping the boat through ahead of us.
Helen has developed a skill of multi tasking when coming up/down locks. When she has to wait she readers her book as well as sorting the socks etc from the washing, spotting birds with binoculars and making the very occasional cup of tea. Here she is at Lock 15.
As we were at Lock 19 and there was nobody on the water point we stopped and filled up. As we left 19 two volunteer Lock keepers arrived. Where had they been since we got to the top. As we were going over to the Grand Union we turned left to the link with it. Whilst waiting for the lock to fill I took the rubbish over to the offices. I think that it is almost only this year that C&RT have started to but recycling bins at the waste facilities. I am getting used to seeing a mess at these sites and the bins being full. I wish that people would use the recycling bins and not just dump it in any bin. The recycle bins are marked 'mixed dry recycling' but they are the same colour as the other bins. However everybody in this country has to recycle at home in their bins so they must be used to doing it and should be able to sort this out as it isn't rocket science. I think C&RT must make signs clearer and I would suggest a different colour bin would help. I would also ask that hire bases inform their holiday makers to sort it too. I'm not too sure if having everything mixed up means that C&RT actually have to pay more to have the rubbish collected too.
This is the link between the Startford upon Avon Canal and the Grand Union. To the left down to Stratford and right to Kings Norton.
We threaded on to the Grand Union and turned right towards Warwick. We passed this way last year. We were heading for the bank by Rowington and just before we got there it started to drizzle. By the time we got moored up it was getting heavier so perfect timing.
Helen set to baking and we now have a victoria sponge and some oaty biscuits so that will tide us over for a while. We could stay here another day I reckon.