Tuesday, 27 September 2016

His n Hers


IMG_8404After a few good days in Alrewas it was time to move . We pulled pins at 07.35 and reversed back around the corner to the winding hole before going back up Alrewas lock .

Passing up through Moor lock between Alrewas and Fradley this is where there is going to be a new 60 berth marina. According to the owners it will be an environmentally friendly design that will appear to behave like a natural body of water rather than a boat park.

IMG_8413After passing through Fradley junction we turned left and onto The Coventry canal .How about this for his n her boats and Guess what ? Carolyn thought it was a great idea . The only problem I could see with us doing this is that my meals would get cold in the time it took Carolyn to get from her boat to mine.

IMG_8419This post is in the middle of the moorings at Hopwas. As you can see the moorings to the left are 48 hours while the moorings to the right are 2 days.  How stupid is that ???

IMG_8429Reaching Glascote locks we passed this boat which we last saw a couple of years ago and it certainly is a very unusual design .ELIZABETH is a converted narrow boat with an iron hull believed to be from the 1860s which was altered by Warrens Shipyard, New Holland, in 1936. Her British Waterways number was 70540. She has a mahogany cabin and pitch pine decks. Her engine is a Gardner 2LW, with 28 horsepower and two cylinders.

IMG_8432We soon made it to the top lock of the and after leaving the lock we passed Glascote basin where they used to make the very desirable Hudson narrowboats. Of course there is no way that I’m going to mention false rivets.. OOPS !  I just did.

IMG_8441After a night moored just outside of Tamworth near the Golf course we pulled pins at 07.10 with the intention of getting up Atherstone locks before it got too busy. We stopped on the services to fill with water before the lock and three boats past us which made us fourth in line to go up.

IMG_8442We passed several boaters coming down who were having a moan about the Volunteer lock keepers on duty. It seems that there were three on duty and they were all on the top lock, nattering and drinking tea where they have their hut. A bit of a difference to the three at Fradley junction a couple of days ago who each worked a lock of their own.To be honest it doesn't really matter to us if they help or not, we are more than happy to lock ourselves through.

IMG_8445After we reached the top of the flight we moored for ten minutes outside the old hat factory. Its such a shame to see this building in such a state and it’s not a good advert for the town, in fact it puts you off stopping here for any amount of time. It seems like Atherstone has been a centre for hatmaking since Tudor times. In the 17th century when the wearing of felt hats instead of caps became increasingly common, Atherstone became the West Midlands centre for the manufacture low cost hats. Hats from Atherstone were sent all over Britain and further afield, around the world to British colonies. In the aftermath of the Second World War. Despite booms and troughs caused by fashion, the market remained on a downward trend. In the 1970s only three hat factories remained in Atherstone – Denham & Hargrave, Vero & Everitt and Wilson & Stafford. In the 1980s as the market contracted further, Wilson & Stafford bought out the other two firms, but could not continue much longer. The Wilson & Stafford factory survived for another decade and was the last to close in 1999.The building was due for demolition in 2008 in order to build flats, but for one reason or another this work has not yet been carried out.

We carried on cruising for another hour before stopping at Mancetter for the night . Tomorrow we will push on through Nunneaton and hopefully pick up a mooring at Hawkesbury junction


                                                                                                    Happy Days


  1. We passed the same sign in Hopwas -- and it triggered a vague memory that the moorings to the right used to be long term permit holders only. I suspect that when they stopped being long term, they hadn't got any 48 hour signs available, so put 2 days instead even though it makes very little sense!

  2. Hi Adam .. Funny you should mention that , but I think you are correct as we seem to remember that long term mooring that never seemed to have a boat on it .. Mind you it's usually full when we pass
    through !!

  3. Good blogging as usual. We have usually seen the boat Elizabeth in Middlewich, just above Wardle lock. It' s good to see that a boat with such history still gets about. It is clearly well cared for. As for the hat factory, why not just convert it to flats, rather than knock down a town's history?

  4. Hi Jack , Elizabeth is a most unusual design and we have often wondered what it is fitted out like inside . As for the building I agree ,why knock it down . There has to be a need for flats in Atherstone as there is in most towns ..