Monday, 4 July 2016

Coventry Canal Confusion? June 2016

Our Summer Cruise to London 2016

To Atherstone in Warwickshire June/July 2016

Day 15 An extra day at Fradley - as it rained and rained!!
Day 16 To Frazeley Junction - 11 miles
Day 17 Onto Atherstone - 10 miles and 8 locks
Day 18 Moored in the pound above Lock 6
Day 19 As above! Good TV and Wifi.

With weather improved, we set off to Fazely Junction, chugging away.
This is a long pound with no locks - though of much of interest.
The initial section was built by the Grand Junction Canal (now the Trent and Mersey) in clear determination to link towards the coalfields of Bedworth and Birmingham.
Although we now call this the Coventry Canal, it was built by three different canal companies!

Now on the Grand Junction Canal Co. section of the Coventry Canal - built in 1789 as a link route. It was later bought by the Coventry Canal Co. This is why the bridges are similar to those on the Trent & Mersey Canal 

Rural and overgrown

Passing the Streethay Wharf - there was plenty of heavy engineering in progress

Passing under the new Network Rail Bridge 82A at Huddlesford Junction. This line was improved to a 4 - track route which meant new or additional bridge construction.
It carries the West Coast Main Line from Euston to Stafford, Crewe and the Glasgow 

Looking up the derelict Wyrley and Essington Canal (the Lichfield section)

We are on our way towards Coventry.

This carved stone shows the joining of the Coventry Canal to the section built by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal (1789), here in Whittington

The bridges change to being 'named' in keeping with the B'ham and Fazeley Canal

A stock of robust timbers to drop into a groove at the bridge as a stop plank - either in an emergency breach, or for a planned draining of the pound for maintenance work

No, not a jail! This is where the stop planks used to be kept

A newish concrete edge - entering an embankment section

This is Peel Wharf - the left side are the Canal and River Trust Regional Offices.
We moored for the night just opposite on good moorings (poor TV signal though!)

Next morning, heading to the Junction - some new waterside housing, with large glass panels as a safety feature (and to keep the ducks/geese out?)

The grand Canal Company House at the Junction, with good line of sight along the canal and opposite the route towards Birmingham

The route on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal to Birmingham

Chris steers out of Glascote Bottom Lock, with a delightful old lock keeper's house

This type of rusty yet solid steel shuttering tells me this is an area of subsidence - from the coal mining activity that took place around here. Now a country park.

A field of poppies - a timely reminder !

On this route, we are never very far away from the main railway line. Here an express chases past

Now on the Coventry Canal 'proper' - this is a rather ornate overflow. The Coventry has no reservoir feeders and relies on water from adjoining streams and run-offs, plus some from the Oxford Canal. Hence is can be susceptible to rainfall and needs longer overflows to compensate. As can be seen, the canal is up to the maximum weir height

Chris approaches the bottom lock at Atherstone - just before the rain came!

Locking up

This photo shows our 'locking up' technique - putting the boat on the up running block and in tickover. This holds the boat reasonably steady to allow the lock to be filled

Chris steers the pound - I walk up to get the next lock ready.
(Jackets on as it's now raining)

The crew happy in their work!

The absence of the walk board meant a step across the half open bottom gates!
I manage this OK - though how do older folk manage?

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