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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Short Hops.

We were off at our normal time we weren't going too far but there were more hire boats on the move this morning.

A lot of the bridge holes have murals in these parts, mainly on a rugby theme but these are different and have survived the vandals too.

Our first stoip was at Clifton Cruisers. They didn't have an hire boat in so there was room for us to pull over and buy a gas refill. It seems that it is a busy time at Clifton. They have been very busy right through the year and are pretty well booked up for Christmas and New Year. They are expecting 14 shells in the near future to replace and add to their own fleet and some for Black Prince too. They are all coming from the UK too. They have a a new to them crane that can just can be glimpsed between the buildings. It is going to be used tomorrow as they are intending to move the cafe building to a new location. They are re-organising massively in the yard.

I heard that they had also bought some land next to the site and have plans to extend their moorings that are down the old Clifton Arm. Currently they have about 20 moorings on the start of the arm that was the original contour route of the Oxford Canal that were cut off when the straightened canal cut it off. They are hoping to to dredge the canal beyond the current limit of the bridge that you can't quite see in this picture. They have bought a dredger and a pan to move the spoil it seems that can be seen in the picture. They will be putting in roads and improved facilities and so have also bought a dump truck as can be seen in the top photo. They seems to have big plans for the place. We have always found them very friendly so every good luck to them.

After obtaining the gas we didn't go very far again and stopped off at the park near Brownsover. In fact we moored up on the towpath side, behind 'Muleless' and a little further on was 'Inca'. We had a run to Tesco and filled up with supplies to tide us over. We then pushed over to the park to top up at the new tap there. there are now temporary signs about keeping the water point clear now.

Just through the A426 road bridge by Tesco's is the start of the Brownsover Arm, one of the cut off sections of the original contour canal. It was quite a long detour compared to today. The first few hundred yards are still in water but as you can see it is blocked off. In fact there was a narrow boat up here in 2013 and C&RT had to obtain a court decision to have the 'Duke of Lancaster removed. 

We have just gone over the aqueduct over the River Swift and are just about to go the aqueduct over the road. In the distance the Brownsover Arm comes back to the new canal opposite the white bridge. It then continued over the tow path side and another arm was made that went round Newbold. The first part of it is still in water and is a hire base still.

Despite it being straightened there are still some bends in the canal and it makes a nice picture just before Newbold.

It was great to see our 'national' flag flying so far south. We dipped our ensign as we passed the Barley Mow pub just before the tunnel.

There are still no lights in the Newbold Tunnel and I don't suppose there will be unless somebody stumps up with more sponsorship. Mind you it is so short you don;t really need lights at all. Mind you it was very colourful when the multicolour lights were working.

This is a name that you will see all over the canal system and elsewhere too. Horseley Iron Works was at Tipton on the Toll End Communication Canal and was started around 1815. As well as bridges they were the builders of the first ever iron steamer called the 'Araron Manby' in 1821. Aaron Manby was the founder of the company. The iron has certainly worn well.

We didn't go much further and moored up before All Oaks Wood and Helen got stuck into the baking before 'Strictly'.

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