We got back from the pub and we succumbed and I lit the fire. It burned beautifully. I am using the last of the coke retrieved from my Mum's house just before it was sold so a sort of 'scattering the ashes'.
The fire stayed in all night with just one loading and was still nice and warm this morning. I don't know how expensive coke is but it burned well and there is very little ash.
This morning boats started moving pretty early, even before it started spitting about 0700. My razor fell to bits as I was cleaning it which meant that we were late finishing breakfast and starting off. It worked out okay because although there were three waiting to go through the stop lock on our side the one on the water point left and past us. We slipped on after them and fixed up the hose for a top up. By the time we had finished it was clear for us to go through the lock. Above is the stop lock. The boat leaving wasn't happy with the hire boat as he had originally gone to the right side in the photo. Perfectly okay I would have thought. There was a lot of meaningless gesticulating to go this way and that and, as always, everything went fine.
I'm not sure who they were but there was a group of folk sat out by the utilities and they looked as thought they were scoring boaters coming in and out of the Oxford Canal. I didn't see any actual scores like on 'Strictly' but that is what it looked like. Luckily we made it round in one movement.
This is the old engine house on the Coventry Canal that used to house the 'Lady Godiva' atmospheric steam engine. It was built around the 1720's and worked at the Griff Colliery a little to the north. It was moved to this engine house in 1821 and worked there pumping water up from a well to keep the canal topped up until 1931. It can still be seen at the Dartmouth Museum.
Although the leavers haven't really turned to their autumnal hues yet the colours look just on the cusp and one frost makes you think there will be a blaze of colour. There are loads of hips and haws for the birds too.
I believe Charity Dock has a very good dry dock and that the owner is very helpful. They also seem to sell diesel etc but it seems that there is every obstacle to putting any business there way. How do they make their money? If it is scrap, the pile never seems to be smaller and the number of boats only seems to increase. What do the neighbours think? I heard that it is called Charity Dock as the land belongs to the Church Commissioners, or something like that. However I find that there were two Charity Colliers in the area that were built on land owned by the Rev. Nicholas Camberlaine charity in 1776
Showiung my age a bit here but this did make me think of the film 'Emmanuel' of the 1970's. If you have seen them you will know why.
As we approached Nuneaton we were encountering boats at every bridge hole. They were a bit exasperated as appeared that there were five of six boats ahead of us in a queue help up by a boat towing another, causing help ups in both directions. We caught up with the back end of this to find one boat between us and the tow. Tick over was the order of the day. We had out fingers crossed that they would stop at Boot Wharf and Starline Boats, but no such luck, it was tick over all the way. We got to Wash Lane Bridge and there was a complete halt. It seems the tug and tow were jammed in the winding hole after a failed attempt. It had been made more difficult by a boat being moored just between the bridge and the winding hole. I moored up and helped to get the stern of the tow round and clear, and the boat between us sped off. The towing boat was stuck in the mud though. He didn't look as though he was going anywhere. I came through the bridge hole and went to the bow to lash up bow to bow. Helen then went astern and we pulled the pair of them off and we could get under way again. The old warehouse looks a lovely building. I'm not sure whether the wharf was named after the Boot Inn or vice versa! The allotments next to the wharf are under threat it seems as there is planning permission for building 54 houses on it but maintaining the wharf and the canal frontage. It seems a shame as all the plots seemed in great productivity and some massive pumpkins too.
The best view you get of Mount Judd, in fact the only view you get, from the canal is just before No. 22 Vernon's Lane Bridge. After this it mysteriously disappears. It is the spoil heap of the Judkins Quarry.
Just round the corner was the rail bridge that spanned the canal to the Tuttle Hill Granite Quarry. This was opened up in 1804 by William Cropper and was bought Judkins in 1903. The bridge later became the conveyor system that took the stone across the canal to a crusher and sorter for transport onward. I was fascinated by the little brick built hovel under the bridge. I wondered if it was from where the canal may have been controlled from.
I'm not sure if this picture is the wharf that would have been just through the bridge but it is interesting none the less. It is a scene from around 1911 and you can see that there is a horse drawn tramway and that the stone is divided into different sizes for different uses. The boat is owned by Chas. Mayer who was a director of the quarry company.
We moored up before getting to Springwood Haven Marina and were able to watch and listen to large hawk moving about the area before getting in and lighting the fire again in the drizzle.