Monday, 20 July 2009

Atherstone

Woke early so was able to make a nice early start this morning. Had the canal to myself on the run to Sutton Stop where a boat was just about to lock down onto the Coventry, with one to come up before it was my turn. There weren’t many boats moving so had a good run to Nuneaton. Sadly the state of the canal trough the town was the usual mess with copious quantities of floating rubbish, although the usual item of furniture didn’t make an appearance.

Stopped for lunch opposite Springwood Haven and introduced Lyra to woods as we have only really walked in fields up to now. She really enjoyed the new environment. As I unlocked the boat so that we could carry on, I proved that padlocks don’t float. The Sea Searcher failed to locate the errant lock.

I ended up in the middle of a queue of boats for a while but managed to find somewhere to let the following boats past me and so regained my solitude. I was planning to stop before the locks anyway so being behind more boats wasn’t a problem. Arrived in Atherstone and moored up, there were about 4 boats waiting to descend the top lock, a situation that continued all afternoon so I was glad that I’m not in a hurry. The hardware shop in the town provided a replacement padlock and I now have enough food for a few days rather than empty cupboards. I considered making a late run down the locks but having walked Lyra down to 5 and seen that they would all be against me I decided against it. Hopefully I won’t end up in a huge queue for the locks in the morning.

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I’m quite surprised, but actually quite pleased, that the old factory is still derelict. It seems unchanged, though probably has more broken windows, since my first visit back in 2003 when I was helping a friend move his narrowboat. It looks to me to be a prime candidate for conversion to flats. I would like it if it could remain much as it it now with nature gradually reclaiming the site, but expect that it will one day end up being demolished and replaced.

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