Recent Posts

Off to the paint shop

We discovered quite by accident that there was to be a stoppage on the Oxford canal at Ansty while Bridge 15 behind the Rose and Castle pub was demolished. This forced us into making the decision to move the boat earlier than we had intended back to the Ashby canal for repainting later in the month. We were undecided as to when we should start our journey but after dinner on Friday evening, we cast off and left Braunston marina hoping that we would be back for the historic boat gathering at the end of June. We could only travel for a couple of hours before darkness prevented further progress but that was enough to get us to Hillmorton top lock where we moored for the night.

There were showers forecast for Saturday, the first real rain for a month but the lengthening days at this time of year meant that we knew we would complete our trip with time to spare. We had a good start, meeting a couple of boats coming up the flight which eased the descent for us. A light drizzle accompanied us as we skirted our way around Rugby and we stopped for breakfast around ten o’clock. The heavens opened shortly after we had eaten our cooked breakfast so we waited until the rain had subsided before untying once again and setting off, the time was half past eleven. We have travelled this section of the North Oxford many times before so we knew that we had three hours cruising to reach the condemned bridge at Ansty. The sky was clearing as we approached Newbold on Avon and by the time we left the northern portal of the Newbold tunnel a few minutes later, we had a summer’s day to enjoy. It was all very enjoyable as we made our way through the Warwickshire countryside in the early May sunshine. We were relieved to see that the bridge was still standing as we reached Ansty and once we had passed under it we knew that our mission was essentially over. We carried on and considered ourselves lucky to find a mooring just before the lock at Sutton stop. Despite the close proximity of the famous Greyhound pub, we were going nowhere after a day’s cruising so we ate dinner and showered before settling down for the evening.

A lot of rain fell during the night but it had passed over by the time we were up and about at eight o’clock. We waited for historic boat and butty pair, Nuneaton and Brighton to clear the lock before we moved through and then around the 180 degree turn on to the Coventry canal. It took the usual hour to reach Marston junction and the beginning of the Ashby canal. We have lost count of the number of Sundays we have travelled this stretch of canal on our way back to Hinckley but unlike our previous journeys, this one would not end in the Trinity marina. We toyed with the idea of mooring at the Limekilns pub but decided to carry on a little further before we moored up near the bridge at Nutts lane, only a couple of hundred yards from our house. We walked home and then went to retrieve the car from Braunston. We would leave the final leg of the journey until the following weekend when Phoenix III will go to Stoke Golding for her nice new shiny paint job.