Monday, 11 July 2011

Short Hop to Atherstone

In Starcross' new, but temporary, career as a "bridge-hopper" it was time once again to move on.  For the first time I was coming to the boat from Lancaster, rather than Hereford and it proved a rather easier journey with the 140 miles taking 3h 45m utilising two trains and a bus and including a 25-minute walk to the railway station at Lancaster. The Glasgow-Birmingham train was 30 minutes late at Lancaster "due to trespassers on the track" and this reduced the connection time at Crewe from 35 minutes to five! Just long enough to re-book for the Crewe - Atherstone leg, which saved £9 over the through fare, but not long enough to buy a coffee and a sandwich, although that's probably just as well as the cost would have accounted for most of the saving!

I spent a lazy afternoon at Hartshill, where the British Waterways yard is now looking a little neglected,
Hartshill Yard 2010 2011
certainly compared with  twelve months ago:
Hartshill Yard 2010
I wanted to time my arrival at Atherstone top lock such that most traffic would have finished for the day and leaving me with a clear run at the locks. Firstly though I needed water from the very slow tap at the top lock and also needed to empty the toilet cassette and the al-fresco facility there.
No secrets at Atherstone!
The plan worked even better than expected with no boats going down, but a steady stream of uphill boats meaning that I didn't have to stop and close any bottom gates, which is always the most awkward part of the solo-boatman's job in the locks. I was so pleased with this that I didn't really mind when the gas bottle ran out halfway through my evening shower!


Halfie said...

Is the top photo 2011, Jim?

Jim said...

Yes it is and I've corrected it now - many thanks. You wouldn't believe the problems I had trying to post those photos!