Monday, 22 October 2012

A tale of three junctions.

From bucolic mooring to bucolic mooring, via three junctions, and it only took three hours. The first junction was that epitome of canal junctions, Hawkesbury, also well known as Sutton's Stop. Where the Oxford joins the Coventry, because of an accidental discrepancy in the levels of the two canals as built, it was necessary to install a stop lock,

every time a boat passes the Coventry gets seven inches of water from the Oxford. If, like us you are heading for the Ashby then you need to perform a one hundred and eighty degree turn under the 1837 cast iron bridge, made at the Brittannia Foundry in Derby which, if you time it right, makes a superb frame

for The Greyhound, the boaters pub that has a history as old as the cut.

You are then facing in the right direction, passing the pump house that once contained a steam engine that raised water from one hundred and fourteen feet below to supply the canal.
Originally the two canals ran parallel for nearly a mile towards Coventry before joining, this was due to some complicated legal arguments about tolls. I tried to work it all out but was left completely baffled, in the end though they moved the junction to it's present position.

This is the second junction, where the Newdigate Colliery Arm joined the Coventry, this area was once a major coal field with a complex of canals and railways and this junction would have been busy with boats taking coal as far afield as London and Oxford.

At Charity Dock the mannikins are obviously preparing for Halloween and we spotted this reminder of happier days,

red diesel at £1.60 a gallon. If only.

At the third junction, Marston Junction, this chap zoomed in as we prepared to make the sharp turn

under the bridge and through

the long disused stop lock that once separated the precious waters of the Ashby from the Coventry.
We've stopped between bridges 2 and 3, opposite the farm.

Watch this space.............

1 comment:

Mike, Mags, Poppy and Abbey said...

Ah, you should stop and have a look around at Charity Dock. You will be amazed at what is there and how cheap the items are.

This year we damaged the prop. We drydocked, changed the prop, refloated, purchased two 56lbs weights and all for less than three figures.

Enjoy the Ashby... watch out for the boat with a tame Magpie living aboard.


Mick n Mags
Tied up for the winter in Sheffield.