I was awake at 6:30am this morning after another very peaceful night. I did my usual, sat in the cratch with my cup of tea until 8am, then woke Chris with her coffee.
We seem to be keeping good time on the trip and are starting to pull ahead of our planned schedule even though we are not rushing so the plan today was an even shorter run to Hopwas but best laid plans.
The morning got under-way at 8:40am (slowly getting earlier) and continued up on the Coventry. Here and there evidence of the quarries left their mark on the now largely tree lined cut and old abandoned foundations of bridges now gone remain.
We very nearly missed Pooley Hall hidden behind the trees but look behind and there it was. Built in 1509 on the site of an earlier Hall it was one of the first examples in the country of a castellated brick-built manor house. The house was considerably larger than what it is today and has been repeatedly altered.
|All that we could see from the canal of Pooley Hall|
|The Samuel Barlow Restaurant and marina behind|
The approach to Glascote Locks is preceded with rows and rows of canal side gardens and slow passage is a must as most have small craft moored there. Unfortunately I was so engrossed in staying behind a really slow boat ahead I forgot the camera. Turns out the couple had just bought the boat severn days earlier and like us were taking it home, for them, to Yorkshire. The lady had jumped of the boat as they moored up the day before and had really hurt her leg. The gent was new to helming a boat so was being overly cautious and hence the slow speed all the way to Glascote, we did not mind a we knew we were on an easy day so enjoyed the gardens as we drifted by.
We arrived at Glascote locks and whilst waiting to descend I noticed a lot of steel work going on. It was then I noticed we were parked right outside Hudson boats workshops. Clearly now a busy company with new boats in various stages of completion in the marina. I also spotted one of this year's show boats.
|Hudson boats workshop|
|Show boat Achenar|
|Glascote top lock and new housing below|
|Leaving the bottom lock and the queue of boats on|
the left waiting to go up and more arriving.
|the River Tame|
|The pill box now stands as a relic of the war years.|
A little further on and Frazeley Junction hoves into view. Looking much like the whole area has been recently re-developed it looks quite smart with its new builds of apartments and long term moorings. I missed the now famous bird murals but Chris managed to get a photo of them.
|Approach to Fazeley Junction|
|New developments all around|
|Birmingham and Fazeley canal to Birmingham via Watling Street bridge|
|Much photographed bird murals, as Halfie put it, Graffiti or art?|
|Loads of Canada Geese line the banks here|
|Smart apartments and long term Moorings for them.|
From here the canal continues in a general Westerly direction through leafy tree lined sections towards Hopwas but on approach the canal narrows considerably making passing other boats only possible in certain places. Luckily for us traffic on this section was light and we only met 2 oncoming boats in passable places.
|Hopwas looked enticing and pretty but little|
mooring space available for AmyJo to squeeze in
|A rare wide section after Hopwas|
As we could not stop in Hopwas we continued to Whittington and found the perfect mooring by 2pm. Just as well as spaces soon filled and many boats passed looking to stop away from the railway line that courts the canal hereabouts. Our spot is the furthest away from the line for a while. We can hear the trains but only faintly.
After a cuppa we took ourselves off for a stroll into the village and were not disappointed. Like Hopwas its a delight and some lovely properties can be found. The village post office staff are most helpful. A Co-op store is also found and looks to be well stocked as does the little pharmacist. The are two pubs. the Dog Inn and the BellInn. The latter has a good selection of cask ales but is old and dowdy but if you want a good pint don't let that put you off.
|Now who lives in a house like this?|