Sunday, 27 August 2017


Thursday 24/8, as planned we departed Snarestone. We have enjoyed our stay at the top of the Ashby Canal, and during our time there, we met several of the members of the Ashby Canal Association. The aim of the association is to maintain, and ultimately complete the link, between the current terminus of the canal at Snarestone, and its historic terminus at Moira. The first step to this restoration is to reach the town of Measham, just under three miles away. It is hoped that with fundraising efforts by the association, and some money from lottery funds, this first step could be achieved in three to five years. So, having enjoyed several weeks on this canal, we have decided to become members of the association and support the restoration efforts. Whilst filling the tank with water we had breakfast, then forty minutes later set off for the crooked tunnel. An hour later we arrived at Shackerstone, and were amazed to find that the spot we had vacated a few days earlier was empty. We slipped into our spot, and after securing the boat made our way to the pub for refreshments. On Friday we walked along the canal to the next village, Congerstone. The canal towpath was by now starting to fill with trading boats, in advance of the Shackerstone festival next weekend. In Congerstone we did our bit supporting local business, by having lunch at the Horse and Jockey P.H. The food was very good and the pub is dog friendly. The weather over the past few days has been very warm and sunny, and unusually for a bank holiday weekend is going to remain good. Today it was back to the Rising Sun P.H for a Sunday roast, which we can thoroughly recommend. Tomorrow we plan to head off for Market Bosworth or beyond.
  • Totals 3 Miles 1 Tunnel 
  • Running total 153 Miles 41 Locks 7 Tunnels 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Since our last post, we have spent a week on a very pleasant mooring in the village of Shackerstone. We departed Market Bosworth, on Wednesday 16/8 on the four mile journey. The top end of the Ashby Canal, is by far the best for scenery, and we could easily spend weeks at a time, just meandering up and down. On arrival at Shackerstone, we found the mooring spot we were after and secured the boat. It was by now lunchtime, so a short stroll took us to the Rising Sun P.H. and liking what we saw, we also booked in for a Sunday roast. The next couple of days had been forecast to be fair and dry, so it was an excellent opportunity to sand down and varnish, a few areas of weathered wood, by the rear doors and side hatches. All went well, despite the fact that the good old Met Office, as usual got their forecast wrong. We encountered several showers, some heavy, but were able to protect the newly varnished wood from the rain. We had always planned on spending at least a week in Shackerstone, only moving when our water tank needed a refill. During our time there, we also met fellow bloggers from nb Freespirit, whose blog which is far more extensive than these ramblings, can be found in our blog list at the side. ( It was nice meeting you again, there was space at the end ). Since Saturday a few trading boats have started arriving at Shackerstone, presumably for the canal festival in a couple of weeks. It appears as if Shackerstone is going to get busy, so our plan to return to the same spot, after spending a few days at the canal terminus is looking doubtful. We also want to avoid encountering too much traffic, on our return if we can, during the upcoming bank holiday weekend. With this in mind, we set off today for the end of the canal at Snarestone. Trundling slowly for the final three miles, we met only one oncoming boat, just as we were preparing to enter the crooked Snarestone Tunnel. The tunnel is single way working only so, after they emerged it was our turn. The tunnel is fairly short at 250yds, but due to a serious kink in the middle it is also fairly dark. Still this would be no problem for the Francis searchlight to illuminate. Pressing the switch for the tunnel light, and nothing. Note to self, check tunnel light actually works, and not just looks pretty on the front of the boat. Once through the tunnel, moorings are fairly limited, and we had been told it was full. Fortunately the newest section of the canal which has been recently restored, also has moorings beyond the small swing bridge. Our boat at 60 feet is too long for the winding hole at the terminus, but we were able to wind before the swing bridge and then reverse a 100 yds or so onto our spot. We can stay here for 48 hrs for free, and then extend our stay if we wish for a fee of ten pounds a night thereafter. As is usual for us, it was lunchtime again so we walked over the top of the tunnel to The Globe P.H. taking the furry crew with us.
Snarestone mooring, new section
We are currently planning to move off on Thursday and hope to be settled somewhere before the bank holiday. It is possible this will be back at Shackerstone, but we are expecting it to be busy there, so who knows.
  • Totals Wed 16/8. 4 Miles
  •           Tue 22/8. 3 Miles 1 Tunnel 
  • Running total 150 Miles 41 Locks 6 Tunnels 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Market Bosworth

Yesterday we stayed put at Stoke Golding, and during the day we took four legs for a walk along the canal to Sutton Wharf, a round trip of about five miles. In the evening, we joined the crew of nb Barolo No.3 at the Mango Tree curry house in the village. At the conclusion of a pleasant evening, we said our farewells for another year and returned in the dark to the boat. Note to self, remember torch if staying out late. This morning as forecast the sun was shining, we commenced our trip aiming for Market Bosworth. First stop was at the Wharf for water. It was around here that we must have picked up something on the propeller. Fortunately, not enough of a problem to stop us, but a trip down the weed hatch was on the cards later. We continued on through peaceful, rural Leicestershire, passing Ambion Wood, the supposed site of the Battle of Bosworth Field and meeting few oncoming boats. On arrival at Market Bosworth we attempted to moor prior to the Marina entrance, but it was very shallow. Pressing on we turned into the Marina for services, then took up a mooring spot 100 yards beyond.
Mooring at Market Bosworth        
Market Bosworth Marina is fairly new, so some of the freshly planted trees have yet to grow, however once established it will be a pleasant setting. Whilst the two legged crew visited the town, a mile up the hill for supplies, me and the furry one acquainted ourselves, with the remains of a pair of ladies jeans that had wrapped themselves round our prop. The next job of the day was to descale the floating element of our holding tank gauge. The gauge has not been working due to the float sticking. I will let imagination explain why this might be. Tomorrow we will aim for Shackerstone, where we hope to spend a few days dealing with some more maintenance tasks, the main being, varnishing the front, rear and both sets of side doors, so fingers crossed for fine dry weather.
  • Totals 6 Miles
  • Running total 143 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Stoke Golding

Yesterday we had a more leisurely start, moving forward to the water point at the BW yard Hartshill at 9.30 am, and finishing breakfast whilst waiting for the tank to fill. By 10 we were underway, with just Nuneaton to pass through before reaching the rural splendour of the Ashby Canal. At Marston Junction with a blast on the klaxon, we turned left and navigated our way through a small narrow trough. Almost as soon as you leave the Coventry Canal behind it feels different. Our target for the day was three miles away, adjacent to the village of Burton Hastings. On arrival we found several boats already moored in the location, however we were able to find a spot, on the end of the line of boats.
Today started gloomy but soon brightened up. Our first stop was to be the water point at Lime Kilns two miles away. A boat was just finishing as we arrived. Next was our passage through Hinckley, which gave us the opportunity to check out Trinity Marina as we passed. We encountered a few boats on route, but it is not as busy as you would expect at this time of year. Back into open countryside with sun shining, and chugging along at a slow walking pace, what could be better.
Rural Leicestershire in the sunshine
Just under three miles and an hour later, we arrived on the outskirts of Stoke Golding. When we were here in March it was a popular spot, so we were pleasantly surprised to find only one other boat moored. After securing the boat we had lunch onboard, then later we walked back to bridge 23, to visit the canal side farm shop for supplies.
Mooring at Stoke Golding    
Side hatch view to 13th C church    
Side hatch view to bridge 26
  • Totals Friday 11/8.     8 Miles
  •           Saturday 12/8. 6 Miles
  • Running total 137 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Following the past two days of wet weather, today broke with blue sky and bright sunshine. Unusually for us we were awake at 7.30 am, and with a flight of eleven locks ahead decided to to get up. We were underway by 8 am, closely followed by another Hudson boat, nb Rhea. The water point at the base of the locks was busy so we carried on, and it was a decision that paid off. Not stopping put us at the front of the queue going up, and we benefited by meeting several boats descending, thereby having the locks turned in our favour. Our ascent of the Atherstone flight was pleasant in the warm weather, and at the top we were able to dispose of some accumulated rubbish. We are also pleased with how the new, larger sized Axiom propeller is performing. Beyond Atherstone, we had about a mile and a half cruise to our intended mooring spot at Hartshill. We met several oncoming boats, always at a bend or a bridge 'ole. The moorings at Hartshill were unusually empty, so we had our choice of spot, opting to stop just prior to the old British Waterways Yard. It was by now lunch time, and another reason for stopping here was its close proximity to Dobbies Garden World. During our repaint at Glascote our broom went adrift, so a replacement was needed, they also have a cafeteria. After lunch a snooze was the order of the day due to our early start.
BW yard Hartshill from side hatch
BW yard Hartshill viewing forward
Tomorrow with luck we will be back on the Ashby Canal for the second time this year.
  • Totals 5 Miles 11 Locks
  • Running total 123 Miles 41 Locks 5 Tunnels 

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Back on board, Polesworth

Several months have passed since our last post. Having spent three months in Somerset whilst our boat was shot blasted, and having a full repaint at Glascote Basin, we returned to Tamworth in mid July, to a nearly finished project. Although not quite complete, we were able to move back on board briefly, for the Hudson owners gathering over the weekend of 22/23 July. This year more boats and owners turned up than previously so, despite some torrential rain a great time was had. During our period away, we had ordered a new set of fenders, to adorn our newly painted boat. These were made and fitted by the Glascote fender maker, whose website is Rather than having a standard button fender on the stern, we opted for a more decorative Barlow Button, however this caused a bit of fender envy, (you know who you are) so we are now not the only ones, sporting some fine rope work. After the weekend event, we handed the boat back to the boatyard for the works to be completed. On Friday the 4th August we returned to Glascote, and started loading the boat with our worldly goods. The weekend was spent dealing with some final snagging, then on Monday, after having a pump out and filling with diesel, we were ready for the off. With some expert use of the bow thruster, we reversed from the Basin onto the Coventry Canal, and headed gingerly in the direction of Polesworth. The reason for the extra care is, whilst the paint is dry, it will be a few months before it has fully hardened, so keeping away from overhanging vegetation is the priority. The trip to Polesworth was pleasant enough, although rain did threaten, it failed to materialise. The canal was fairly busy though to be expected, as we are now at the height of the holiday season. We found a spot at a usual mooring site for us, about a mile from the foot of the Atherstone lock flight. The next couple days are forecast to be wet, so we will probably stay put until Thursday. Now for some pictures,  
Newly painted bow and button fender    
Side view    
Sign writing by Dave Moore    
Hand painted pigeon box    
Rear fenders with Barlow Button
  As can be seen from the photos above we are pleased with the end result, and especially the work done by Dave Moore on the sign writing, and painted pigeon box. What all but the most eagle eyed observers will miss, is the small detail in his work. In the photo showing our rear panel, if you zoom in on our boat number, you will see that the 2's are in fact little swans. 
  • Totals 5 Miles
  • Running total 118 Miles 30 Locks 5 Tunnels