The refurbishment of New Starcross Towers has reached a hiatus as we wait for various tradesmen to finish their holidays and do what needs to be done, so I have managed a few days away and am back on the cut.
Starcross at Bridge 45 on Coventry Canal
I'd left Starcross at Bridge 45, about two-thirds of the way down the Atherstone locks, so this morning Hilary and I left Lancaster at 06.15 down the M6 to Crewe, where I left her to carry on to Hereford while I had some breakfast in a nearby cafe before catching the 08.33 to Atherstone. It wasn't any quicker or cheaper than getting the train all the way but it did let me do the first couple of hours driving for her before she carried on down the "long and winding road" (aka the A49) to Hereford.
I arrived at Atherstone station at 09.54 and after a quick visit to the nearby Co-op (will I really eat all that food in the next few days?!) I walked down the towpath to find Starcross as I had left her ten days earlier.
I needed a cup of tea and the brasses were in a terrible state, so it was just on twelve when I got away down the remainder of the flight and, after a quick stop to take on drinking water at Bradley Green, off towards Fazeley Junction.
There was a fine collection of loaded and empty working boats at Alvecote, perhaps gathering before making the trip to the IWA National Waterways Festival at Burton next weekend.
Working boats at Alvecote
Otherwise, it was an uneventful trip until Glascote, where I joined a queue of five boats waiting for the very slow-filling locks here. Two thirty-footers had agreed to share, which speeded things up a bit, but it was over an hour before I was through and 17.15 before I got through Fazeley
The queue at Glascote locks.It was such a fine evening it would have been a shame to have stopped so I carried on for another couple of hours finally tying-up for the night at bridge 80 at Whittington where there are some very handy mooring rings.