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Saturday, 4 March 2017

And we are off.

Ash brought us down to Lichfield to board mour boat for the first cruise of the year. 'Holderness' has been in the paint dock and only was released a week ago. By the time we had loaded up and stowed what we could it was getting on in the day. I hadn't bothered Streethay lads as they were undertaking crane and banksman training. When they finished I went over to see them and get things sorted, and get the bill!! In the end it was too late to set off, so they let us stay the night. We both slept pretty well and Macy the cat seemed to be glad to be back aboard and made herself at home in the usual way. I'm not sure what Skye the budgie thought about it all.

Still in the paint dock a few weeks ago, looking all nice and shiny. 

Sign writing completed and looking all tiddly. The green is a bit lighter than the old colour, but I have quickly got used to it.

The next morning we were off about 0945. Perhaps we left in indecent haste as we realised after we had gone through Fazeley we realised that we had left the keys we had lent the boat yard. Hopefully they will post them home. As we left the yard wanted some photographs so we steamed past very slowly. Unfortunately it was dull and raining but the red and green show up nicely.

As we were headed towards Fazeley there are no locks so Helen was able to stay in the dry and warm. As it wasn't windy it wasn't too bad on the back end and it was nice to be steering again. Just past Whittington, at Fisherwick they were just starting to erect the poly tunnels ready once again for the asparagus season. The company is a very large producer of asparagus, at a couple of sites, for the supermarkets.

At Hopwas Wood it looked like the Danger signs for the firing range have been replaced. I must admit that I thought that the range had become redundant. There were a few boats at Hopwas but nothing moving.

We stopped at Peel Wharf to dump the rubbish and top up with water. Once that was done we pulled round the junction and moored just in the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. We need a little bit of shopping and to post a letter so we popped into the village. Unfortunately the Tesco's is next door to a Chippy. We succumbed and had a lunchtime special of chips, fish cake or roe and a sauce for £2-70. We had the lunch soup for tea instead.

We were moored under the big five story mill that was built in 1883 using water power to weave haberdashery and upholstery.

Just up the road is Drayton Manor. Drayton Manor, the house and land was owned by the Peel family but by 1926 the house was just about a ruin. In WWII it was requisitioned by the Army and 17 huts were added to make the place into a training base. By 1949 it had again become redundant and in 1949 George and Vera Bryan paid £6000 for the property and opened a few rides. In 1954 Molly Badham brought her small zoo to the park and over the next few decades it slowly grew in size, until the 1980's when large rides started to be installed and now it is the fifth largest theme park in the country.

Helen togged up to test her self against the Minworth Bottom Lock. She won out and continued for another two until we stopped for the night by the Dog and Doublet.

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