Wednesday, 6th October 2021
|Sunrise at the Dog & Doublet moorings|
The early risers amongst the crew were rewarded by a spectacular sunrise as they prepared to untie and set off on another long day's run, with Atherstone as the target for the night.
Bloody Hire Boaters
With seven of us onboard, some of whom had by now worked out how to use the shower, the first task was to take on water and this could be accomplished at Fazeley Junction. The water point here is not ideally suited for boats coming from the south as it involves making the right turn on to the Coventry Canal and then reversing a boat length or two to reach it. I had almost completed the turn and glanced behind before preparing to reverse when I saw a boat coming up behind. I pointed and shouted that I was headed for the water point, but the steerer kept coming, choosing to come between me and the towpath on my inside. By the time I'd got the bow out of his way and he'd passed without a collision (or a word of thanks!) I was in a hopeless position for the water point, resulting in much manoeuvring with the engine and the shaft to get to it.
Whilst we were filling the tank a couple off a boat on the moorings came along and in response to my greeting, the lady said "I won't tell you what my husband has just said about typical hire boaters!" As I doubt that they had seen the incident in its entirety it just goes to show that you shouldn't pass judgement without knowing the full story.
As Glascote Bottom Lock I was reminded how much the cut has changed in the last fifty years, and how much less interesting it has become. On the 1973 boat trip my partner Hilary, who was on Willow Wren's "Guillemot", took this photo of Union Canal Carriers' "Bexhill", on which I was captain, leaving the lock.
|Glascote Bottom Lock 1973|
I wasn't really sure it was the same place when I took the 2021 photo, but the unusual roof line of the lock cottage is a giveaway...
|and again, in 2021|
|Ken and Jeanette waiting for lock 6|
Ken was holding Grebe perfectly in position waiting for the lock to empty. I suppose it might have been a clue if he had realised that two of the people leaning on the lock gates weren't part of our crew, but neither they nor Mark, who was one of us ,seems to have mentioned that there was a boat descending in the lock and which would need to come out before we could go in! As a result, Ken's expert handling was all in vain...
|Why didn't anyone tell me?|
|Wilson & Stafford's Britannia Hat Works|