Saturday, 26 July 2014

Grand Union Canal - Hatton Flight and Saltisford Arm July 2104

Our Summer Cruise 2014
Day 43 - Hatton Locks
Continued ... Part 2

This is the second part of our day's cruising, down the 21 locks at Hatton Flight - apparently know as the 'stairway to heaven'. Under the hot sun, we came down as a single boat - a few boats locking up though no-one else descending.

Our day's cruise was to end in the Saltisford Arm Trust, where I had booked a berth.

Looking down the locks towards Warwick - spot the cathedral in the far distance

Chris steers the boat through the locks - in bright, hot sunshine

There was plenty of water coming down - when paddles were opened above it topped the gates - reminiscent of the Rochdale

Chris steers passed a couple of boats coming up - in all we passed 7 boats coming up (none going down!)

A photo looking at the old single lock and the new concrete wide lock - complete with access stairs

Looking back up the 'Stairway to Heaven'

Modern Art?

1930's Health and Safety - the white line warns of the steep 3m drop down to the canal!

Grand Union Paddle Gear - note the distinctive locking catch

Another shot of the lock approach - it reminds me of the improvements on the Trent and Mersey at Wheelock

Entering the Saltisford Arm - passing nb Hadar, the Trading Coal Boat

Bernard - the Warwick Bear

We needed to wind (got caught in a very shallow winding hole) and needed to reverse and pole back to our berth at the end. Our boat sits breasted up (diamonds on the front)

A photo of the Trust Office/Shop block

Breasted up next to Oakapple  - at the end of the arm

Down the 'Stairway to Heaven' - Hatton Locks July 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014
Day 43 - 7 miles and 21 locks
Part 1

Another lovely day as we set off to Warwick. The first section from our mooring at Kingswood Junction is along the broad Grand Union Canal - deep and wide, so we ticked along at a good pace where I could see the 'road ahead'.

It was a good day of canal cruising down the Hatton Flight and into the Saltisford Arm at Warwick - so I have posted in two parts.

Just above Kingswood Junction - all set to cruise to Warwick

A photo of a landslip on the Rowington 'tunnel' - apparently it was planned as a tunnel, then opened out as a deep cutting so as to use the spoil for a large embankment through the bridge

A simple accommodation Bridge No.61 - with a riveted iron girder base

The sad sight of these wooden boats

Entering the Shrewley Tunnel - note the higher and smaller horse tunnel for them to go over the top of the hill

Inside the tunnel - with our tunnel lamp lighting the walls - it was wet inside!

Looking back at the tunnel portal

Hatton locks - a couple of the bottom paddles were broken - it didn't affect us as we used just the towpath paddles and one lock gate

A photo showing the older single lock - now used as the by-weir. The newer concrete broad locks were part of the improvements in the 1930's

Hatton Canal and River Trust Yard

Sharing a lock with a CR working tug and butty

They breed 'em big here!

Chris brings the boat into the lock below the CRT Yard
To be continued ...

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Back up the Southern Stratford July 2014

Our Summer Cruise July 2014
Day 40 - 5 miles and 16 locks

The thundery rain had passed and we awoke to another wonderful day! What a summer of good weather so far! The aim was to get up to Lapworth so an 'earliesh' start (by our standards) saw us heading up to the first set of locks at Preston Bagot.

Chris takes the boat under the low iron road bridge into the Bottom Lock at Preston Bagot

High rise parking?!

A lock wall showing missing bricks!

This is Bridge No.45 showing the split - covered here by metal plates - presumably as a safety precaution as the gap is quite wide?

The third and smallest of the iron trough aqueduct - this one over the Yarningale brook. Note the holes in the brick retaining wall - possibly to drain water out, or to act as a visual safety cue if the canal leaks?

Another split bridge No.44 - the photo shows a metal strap attached to the handrail presumably to guide the towing rope

One of the 'barrel' shaped roofed cottages - this one has been extended and is for sale!

Who was here - a heron perhaps!

A view of the metal strap holding the top of the gate - simple and effective for the last 200 years!

Contrasted with modern development - the M40 underpass

Most lock gates have a metal plate showing where and when they were made - this one says 1990 so is 24 years old - soon for replacement?

A happy boater as we near Lapworth Junction - it has been hard work steering into the strong bywash send down from locks being worked above
The sharp turn into the Lapworth Cut to the Grand Union is well hidden!
I undershot and needed to bring the boat round a lot more

Here is the 'correct' angle! - I went back today to have a look at it

On Sunday on the way up, we were told by a descending boater that all the water points at Lapworth had failed - thankfully we filled our tank at Lowsonford. A couple of days later the water points are all taped up and an alert is on the CRT system

Where we have come from and where we are going -  the new finger post erected by the IWA at Kingswood Junction

We eased onto the Grand Union Canal and reversed back to this mooring

Saturday, 19 July 2014

On the move - heading north from Stratford July 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014
Days 37 and 38 - 8 miles and 17 locks

The time had come to leave fabulous Stratford by boat (we're back in November at the Premier Inn for our wedding anniversary and the theatre!) - we probably won't be down this way on the boat for a few years now.

The day was just glorious as we headed out of Stratford!

Into the low road bridge out of Stratford Basin

Heading out - Chris at the helm as I walk up doing the locks

The rather low Birmingham Road Bridge - into bright sunlight

The next day up the Wilmcote flight of locks - Chris brings the boat through an awkward angle into the lock

This lock shows the wall leaning in and getting scraped (not helped by missing bricks at the waterline) - how long before it collapses?!

With me steering and taking the photo - squeezing through a typical Southern Stratford Canal bridge

Crossing the Edstone Aqueduct - at 145m long it is the longest in England - engineered by William Whitmore in 1813 in cast iron, unusual as the towpath is level with the bottom of the canal trough

I suppose it was safer for the horses and boaters at this height
A view over the canal - almost 9m down to the railway

Having topped up the diesel at the Wootton Wawen Anglo Welsh yard (with an ice cream as well!), we headed into the country to moor up for a day as rain is forecast.