Friday, 7 April 2017


Yesterday our journey took us through 'the stones', Congerstone, Shackerstone and finally the terminus of the Ashby Canal, Snarestone. This final stretch of the canal is the most rural and peaceful, so the best has been saved till last. We set off in cloudy conditions, but it was not long before the sun made a appearance. Passing through Shackerstone, we noted the best mooring spots, as our intention is to return here on Saturday, and take a trip on the steam railway. About an hour after passing Shackerstone, the tunnel at Snarestone appeared in the distance. This tunnel is very crooked, and therefore is subject to one way working only.
Crooked tunnel at Snarestone
Once through the tunnel, we travelled the final few hundred yards of canal to the winding hole. Beyond this is a swing bridge, and a section of newly restored canal. This is only a few hundred yards long, and the winding hole at the end is restricted to boats up to 53 feet, 7 feet to short for us. This restoration is the first part of an attempt by the Ashby Canal Association, to restore the canal to its original terminus in Moira. They have about five miles of canal to restore, taking it through the village of Measham. After securing the boat it was lunchtime so a visit to the Globe P.H. was the order of the day. Today after breakfast, we set off on a walk towards Measham, following the route of the original canal bed part of the way. The newly restored section, includes a bridge which although built to look like an original structure, has in fact had to meet modern day standards of construction, and can therefore withstand far more weight than the old bridges could.
New bridge over restored canal
 When the Ashby Canal was originally built, one of the main products transported was coal. As we followed the footpaths over the fields towards Measham, evidence of the former coal works could be seen. At one point, we must have been directly over the former seams, as indicated by an information marker.
Coal seams and depth below ground
Our magical mystery tour, also took us through a stretch of woodland where we had to play hunt the footpath, however we eventually found our way through, with the help of the iPhone gps feature, and arrived in Measham. The village is known for its Measham Ware or Barge Ware, usually earthenware teapots with a dark brown glaze, traditionally associated with canals and narrow boats.
Where is the footpath
Following refreshments in a local pub, our return journey was slightly shorter in time and distance, as we now knew where we were going. The furry one however found a new fun game to engage in, called chase the bunnies. Back at the boat, the afternoon was spent servicing our hurricane diesel heater. We normally use this just to provide hot water in the mornings, and rely on the solid fuel stove for heat. Now the warmer weather has arrived, it is too warm for the stove, so we will now use the hurricane to take the chill off if need be.
Mooring at Snarestone
We will stay here until tomorrow, after which we will have used our allotted 48 hours here. This is however a picturesque canal, and so I expect we will return in the not too distant future.
  • Totals 6 Miles 1 Tunnel
  • Running total 81 Miles 19 Locks 4 Tunnels 

No comments:

Post a Comment