Monday, 25 September 2017


Since our last post we have been somewhat busy. We spent a whole week at Shackerstone, and took full advantage of the events and hospitality the village had to offer. On Saturday 16/9, we departed Shackerstone railway station by steam engine, heading to Market Bosworth. The reason was the annual 1940s event, taking place in the railway yard over the weekend. We were joined on the platform by some German soldiers, although, as the only ones to make it here in reality were prisoners of war, they seemed to be missing their guards.
  The trip to Market Bosworth from Shackerstone takes a little over 15 minutes, and unlike our last steam hauled journey, this time we did not travel in luxury. In fact the carriage was marked third class on the door. Oscar was most unimpressed. On arrival at Market Bosworth, the station was teaming with people dressed of the era, some in military uniforms, and some wearing civilian clothing. It was like stepping back in time. The railway yard was effectively divided between the allies and the axis forces in their respective encampments. Although it appeared as if the German forces had all the heavy weapons.
After looking around the various stalls and exhibits, we decided to walk up to Market Bosworth town for some supplies. The walk is uphill all the way, but worth the effort as most of the shops are contained within a small square. Another benefit is, that when laden with shopping, the walk back is all downhill. We had a spot of lunch back at the railway yard, but decided not to hang around for the battle re-enactment, as the bangs and smoke would upset the furry crew member. Sunday 17/9, we returned to the Rising Sun P.H. for a roast dinner, followed by some rest and recuperation back on the boat. Most of the remaining days involved taking four legs for a walk, although on Tuesday 19/9, we did find ourselves at the Horse and Jockey P.H. in Congerstone. I knew the following day I had a particularly onerous job to do, so treated myself to a fillet steak. Wednesday 20/9, in preparation of impending winter, it was time to service the Morso solid fuel stove. This is our main source of heat during the cold winter months, and rarely goes out between November and March. For this reason we wanted to ensure it was clean and fit for purpose. The stove itself needed little work other than a bit of a clean, and polish. The flue however was a different story. The diameter of the flue is approx four and a half inches, however due to a build up of soot etc. this had been reduced to two inches, at the bottom end of the flue nearest the stove. The soot was not the nice soft soot, easily removed with a flue brush, it had set like concrete. After various different attempts were made to loosen the said deposits, the answer finally presented itself in the shape of our heavy, metal spiked boat hook. Half an hour later, we now had a flue back to its original diameter. Friday 22/9, we set off in glorious sunshine for the end of the canal at Snarestone. It was a very pleasant cruise, and not very busy which is always good.
In the second picture above, during our cruise to Snarestone, a heron photo bombed the picture and can be seen flying to the right of the chimney. On arrival at Snarestone, we passed through the tunnel and reached the end of the canal. The visitor moorings were empty, but the new section beyond the footbridge did have several boats moored. We opted for the 48 hour visitor moorings, and secured to boat.
Heading off in the direction of the Globe P.H. for lunch we looked back to see the boat all alone. It wouldn't last. Whilst at the pub we booked in for Sunday lunch. It was very nearly fully booked, so just as well we did not turn up ad hoc. This morning having enjoyed our stay, we needed to move off. Not very far though, as we are due to meet up with family tomorrow. We set off back through the tunnel, and found a nice open spot on some fourteen days moorings, we will wait here.
The photos above are us emerging from the crooked tunnel, and the view of our mooring. We will stay put till Wednesday when we may need services at Bosworth Marina.
  • Totals Friday 22/9.   3 Miles  1 Tunnel
  •          Monday 25/9. 0.5 Mile 1 Tunnel 
  • Running total 180 Miles 41 Locks 9 Tunnels 

Friday, 15 September 2017


This morning we were in two minds whether to stay put at Market Bosworth. The sky was very grey, and a fine misty drizzle was in the air. We delayed our decision for half an hour or so, and it cleared a bit so we got underway. En route we met several oncoming boats, which is always good news, as this means plenty of mooring spots would be available. As we arrived at Shackerstone the skies began to darken,  and it would touch and go as to whether we secured the boat before the downpour. The mooring area was virtually empty, in complete contrast to how it was when here two weeks ago. We picked a spot near the reed beds and tied up, just in time to avoid a drenching. Once the rain passed we set off to the Rising Sun P.H. for lunch.
Mooring at Shackerstone.
Whilst in the pub we met an old boatman from the Black Country. He had seen us when we passed by earlier, and had recognised the sign writing on our boat, as having been done by Dave Moore. We had a chat about things, and he asked us to remember him to Dave next time we are at Glascote Basin. We will not be there till next year now, so if anyone at Glascote Basin reads these ramblings, can you say hello to Dave, from ' the blacksmith ' on nb Themis.
  • Totals 3 Miles
  • Running total 177 Miles 41 Locks 7 Tunnels 

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Market Bosworth

Having survived the storm, this morning after breakfast, we set off aiming for Shackerstone. It was still fairly breezy, but not so much, that would deter us from entering Market Bosworth Marina for services. We passed a relatively empty Sutton Wharf, where we had lunch a few days ago, and continued on our journey. The sun was warm through the broken clouds, and we encountered quite a bit of oncoming traffic. At one bridge, we had to wait whilst three boats came through, not normally a problem, but in the wind, a little tricky holding the boat straight. We arrived at Market Bosworth about two and a half hours after setting off, and made the turn into the Marina. We managed to secure the boat on the services pontoon, despite the best efforts of the wind, trying to blow us off. After filling with water, having a pump out and replacing a gas cylinder, we were ready to depart. However, at the Marina there is a bistro type cafe, and it was lunchtime. It is amazing how quickly plans change when hungry. We checked there was space to moor outside the Marina, and secured the boat. We will stay here now till tomorrow, unless the weather is rubbish, in which case it may be longer.
Obtaining services Bosworth Marina
View from the cafeteria
Whilst in the cafe I noticed they do breakfasts, so depending on our departure time tomorrow, a visit for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs maybe on the cards.
  • Totals 6 Miles
  • Running total 174 Miles 41 Locks 7 Tunnels 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Stoke Golding

Since our last post we have actually been quite busy. As planned, on Bank Holiday Monday 28/8, we departed Shackerstone aiming for Stoke Golding. Our first stop of the day was at Market Bosworth Marina for services, we are becoming regulars here this year. Then onwards to Shenton where we stopped for lunch, no pub this time as we still had a way to go. Unusually for a Bank Holiday, the weather was warm and sunny so it made for a pleasant cruise. On arrival at Stoke Golding in the late afternoon, we found far more boats moored than on our previous visit, but we were able to find a spot. We stayed put in Stoke Golding for a few days, making use of the nearby farm shop at bridge 23. On Thursday 31/8, I was another year older and now 3 years into retirement, to celebrate a trip to the Dog and Hedgehog P.H was the order of the day. Along with birthday lunches and Sunday roasts, we are becoming regulars here as well. Friday 1/9, we had a short three mile cruise to Trinity Marina at Hinckley. We had booked a week long mooring here, whilst we left the boat for a pre planned excursion the following week. We still had our car to collect from Glascote Basin, so a trip back to Tamworth was the afternoon activity. This was needed so that the furry crew member could be dropped off at his home boarding, aka posh kennels, whilst we went on our trip. The following day the two legged crew abandoned ship, leaving me and four legs to rest and recuperate in Hinckley. Tuesday 5/8, having secured the boat I travelled to London for an overnight stay in Victoria, ready for the next days jaunt. Wednesday 6/9, having been joined by the two legged crew, we made our way to Victoria Station to check in for our journey to Bath, on the steam driven Pullman train. The journey was to take four hours, being hauled by the steam engine 'Tornado', whilst inside the 1920s carriages we were wined and dined. On route a half hour stop was made at Newbury racecourse station, to allow the engine to take on more water. This was supplied by a fire brigade tender, presumably all the track side water towers are long since gone. During the course of the day, the engine would burn its way through approximately five tons of coal, and whilst capable of reaching speeds exceeding 100 Mph, is limited by regulations to 75 Mph. On arrival in Bath we enjoyed an organised coach tour, followed by a trip to the Roman Baths. It was here we were able to take the water, that supposedly cures all ills. It tasted disgusting. Once back on board the train, we returned to our comfortable armchairs, ready for our four course dinner en route back to London. Thursday 7/9, we returned to reality, using the everyday trains of the London Midlands service, to get us back to the boat, not forgetting to collect four legs on the way. 
Steam train 'Tornado'    
Roman Baths
Saturday 9/9, we departed Trinity Marina heading back to Stoke Golding. For Sunday lunch it was back to the Dog and Hedgehog, and yesterday Tuesday 12/9, we walked the five mile round trip to Sutton Wharf. Last night a forecast storm was due to arrive, so before bed, ropes were tightened, and the satellite dish removed from the roof. In the end though, the wind did not amount to much. Our plan is to head off tomorrow, as we are in need of services at Market Bosworth Marina. Hopefully the wind will have dropped a bit more by the time we reach there.
  • Totals Monday 28/8. 9 Miles
  •          Friday     1/9. 3 Miles
  •          Saturday 8/9. 3 Miles
  • Running total  168 Miles 41 Locks 7 Tunnels