Saturday 23rd June; Anchor bridge to All Oaks Wood (North Oxford canal)
It was a sunny and bright start, though as the morning wore on a light hazy cloud cover came over, meaning the temperature was very pleasant – rather different from what happened the next day! It’s a nice spot to moor, though you need to be aware the quarry away behind the trees starts work before 8. They were even operating yesterday, which was Sunday.
We set off about 9.30 and cruised gently down towards Nuneaton. Mount Judd, the local name for one of the quarry spoil heaps, is visible occasionally above the trees.
Along this stretch is the much photographed remnant of what must have been a huge network of telegraph poles along the canal and out to the various quarries.
Last time we came through Nuneaton, probably a couple of years ago, we thought the litter problem wasn’t as bad as it used to be. Where we stopped to get the paper, at Tuttle Hill bridge (23), there were lots of small bits floating about. The bridge sides had been strimmed, and the litter that collected there was obvious too – maybe that’s where the plastic bits came from. Someone had been metal fishing at the bridge, and a couple of bikes and miscellaneous bits of iron had been dumped, but there was a piling hook which I snaffled. It will need de-rusting, but it’s always good to have a spare.
We carried on as soon as I was back from the shop, passing all the allotments which I love looking at whatever the time of year, and at last got a decent picture of the Tardis which has landed in someone’s garden.
Before too long we were at Charity Dock, keen to see what had changed since our last visit. The Stig was still lurking in the willows
but we hadn’t spotted ET and the aliens before!
One of the Bedworth gardens used to have a gorilla keeping an eye on things, but he has gone and the house is for sale. The creatures fixed to the retaining wall are still there though.
We moored for lunch opposite Bedworth school playing fields. It was still quite early, so Dave repacked the stern gland before we ate. We wondered about stopping at Hawkesbury junction for the night but decided to move on as it was still early in the afternoon. On the way to the junction, we saw a boat moored in the ideal place if you need to touch up your blacking down to the waterline – alongside an overflow.
I hopped off the boat to dispose of rubbish at the junction, foolishly forgetting to put the camera in my pocket, so Dave’s elegant and perfectly controlled rounding of the junction was not recorded.
It’s a noisy cruise from the junction to Ansty, as motorways are close by. As we left the village we got closer to the railway, but at least that noise wasn’t constant. There were some lovely patches of wild flowers along the way – meadowsweet and the field geranium here.
Along the way this afternoon we met Tom and Jan’s Waiouru with her new owners. We are pleased to report that they are still thoroughly enjoying their new boat !
We knew by now we would have to keep going till All Oaks Wood and hope there would be space for us. Moorings along this stretch are few and far between, so All Oaks Wood is very popular and we were lucky to get in on the end. So out came the mooring pins and we had to put up with the gentle bumping on the submerged edge that happens when other boats go by, and a bit of a stride to get on and off. Meg didn’t mind – she was keen to get off to stretch her legs.
14 miles, 1 lock