Thursday 17th August; Hopwas woods to bridge 50, between Polesworth and Atherstone bottom lock.
After a wet night, but sheltered from the buffeting wind which we gathered had been a problem for other boaters, we pottered off. The morning was warm but for the first half hour it drizzled. By mid-morning we were approaching Fazeley junction and spotted this boat which seems to be providing a useful service. I dropped my phone so I was rather late taking the picture, and I failed to get the boat’s name, but it is offering free disposal of used engine oil.
At the facilities block just before the junction we were annoyed to find that the rubbish compound has been closed. Judging by the number of rat poison containers around, I reckon the local residents had been complaining about it. As we waited to cross to the visitor mooring for a quick trip up to the Tesco Metro, a passing boater called out that Fazeley Mill marina had an excellent price for diesel (can’t remember what) but we weren’t going that way. After our failure to bag another temporary mooring at Alvechurch marina after this trip, we had decided to come round onto the Coventry as there are lots of options if you can spend a few days getting there. Our first choice, Fazeley Mill, unfortunately was full, otherwise we would have taken advantage of the good price, but we have secured a few weeks at Springwood Haven near Nuneaton.
Shopping done, we went on to join the inevitable queue for Glascote locks. On the way we crossed the Tame aqueduct in the sunshine.
There were three boats waiting at the bottom lock, and another just going in. The boat in front said he had joined a queue of five. Anyway, after realising the boat going up was waiting for a boat just about to enter the top lock, we got the kettle on and had lunch. Eventually it was our turn. The ‘leaky lock’ is far less leaky than it was but it still took a long time to fill. The poem, which used to be pinned up on a sheet of paper, has now been immortalised in a brass plaque, but I had left my phone on board so there is no picture. I have had a call to say my camera has been repaired, so photos should be better on our next trip!
It doesn’t look like it, but there were three boats waiting at the bottom lock.
We wanted to get reasonably close to Atherstone bottom lock for the night, and chose a sunny spot near bridge 50. It was a bit breezy, but a rise in the ground opposite sheltered us from the noise of the railway and the road beyond.
9½ miles, 2 locks