Wednesday, 5 June 2013

To the end of the Ashby navigation

Posted 12th June
After the lovely weather of the last week, it was quite a shock to see the grey skies this morning, which persisted until late afternoon. 
We set off around 9 and made a brief stop at Sutton Wharf to take on water and empty a cassette.  We have noticed that all the hoses have disappeared from the sanitary stations; we saw a C&RT notice that blamed this on a change in the policies of the water companies.  Presumably this is the reason that the normal taps have been replaced with the push-type?  The reduced water flow of these makes it difficult to rinse the cassettes properly and we ended up filling a bucket from the drinking water tap.  If C&RT wanted to reduce water loss perhaps they should repair all the dripping water points first?  Still, watching a great tit feeding its young in an electricity supply box just by the sanitary station door was a good antidote to the frustration!
The towpath was busy with walkers on their way to the cafe at Sutton Wharf as we cruised on to pass the offside Battlefield Moorings mentioned in Nicholson's and Pearson's, only to see them looking unkempt and rather overgrown. (We later discovered that they have been permanently closed and you have to moor on the towpath side).  We stopped at Market Bosworth as we were running low on supplies, and there are no more shops between there and the end of the navigation.  It is a good 15 minute route march uphill to the town, which was fairly quiet and has a small range of shops.  A local school had made its own floral tribute to Richard III:
outside school in mkt bosworth 1outside school in mkt bosworth 2
front garden in mkt bosworth 1
This wooden sculpture of Richard was in a front garden.  You can see his White Boar badge and the plaque with his motto inscribed; Loyaute me lie. If your Old French is a bit rusty you may care to know that this means ‘Loyalty binds me’ (thanks to a quick google search!)  During the afternoon we saw a lone lapwing and the only heron we have seen since we started.  At Shackerstone there are a lot of moored boats, and as we crept by we had a clear view of a dust-up between two moorhens;
moorhen fight shackerstone
the two most involved we assumed to be males fighting over the female, which joined in the fracas from time to time.  The birds were grappling each other with their claws and leaning back into the water, flapping all the time.  They took absolutely no notice of us but appeared to have settled their differences by the time we lost sight of them.
We passed through the Snarestone tunnel, which gets lower towards the northern portal, and moored in sun, peace and quiet.  There is a small hut (closed by now) selling gifts and part of a portakabin with bric-a-brac, all on sale to raise money for restoration.  The other half of the portakabin is used by contractors when they are on site.
end of nav ashby
This is the end of navigation at present.

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