This is Carolyn with the great man of the canals ,well a statue of him .It is of course the canal builder James Brindley who was commissioned to build amongst others the Coventry canal when the canal company was formed back in 1768, and work started on it in December that year.His technique minimised the amount of earth moving by developing the principle of contouring. He preferred to use a circuitous route that avoided embankments, and tunnels rather than cuttings Due to the high standards of construction demanded by Brindley the canal company ran out of money by the time the canal had reached Atherstone in 1769, and Brindley was replaced by Thomas Yeoman.
Not far from the basin we came across this marker which stood opposite where the old Daimler car factory was which made the first British production motor car in 1897 . The surviving building is the power house. Yet again the local Scroates have left their mark all over the place.
This is the Canal basin bridge and it’s also a very wibbly wobbly bridge . Just walking over it and it shakes and wobbles like you wouldn’t believe .The bridge is a direct link from the canal basin straight in to the city centre .But believe it or not there are now plans to demolish it and not replace it. The road below is so busy that there is no way that you could cross it ,so it will be a long detour down to the next roundabout to cross the road.
Well that’s the end of our time in Coventry.We ended up spending a week in the basin and had some good experiences and some bad ones . The basin itself is fine to stay in and we felt safe inside with all the camera’s and good lighting . But just outside there was a lot of drug use with some people in what looked to be a bad state. We also saw a lot of used needles that were just discarded outside of the basin.
The worst incident we saw was when shopping in the local Sainsbury when a fight broke out between a shoplifter and the security guards . It ended up at the till we were using and we had to move to the back of the store while a violent struggle took place .The lady behind the till said that it was now becoming a lot worse and this type of incident happens several times every week. It was later mentioned that this was probably just a distraction while his mates stole all the alcohol from the shelves. This is the first time that Carolyn has ever witnessed anything like this and it left her very upset to say the least. Then one night we had a couple of idiots who decided to bang as hard as they could on the side of the boat and run off. I just managed to get out and shout a couple of rude words at them as they ran off around the corner. Luckily for them they never came back. There was also a lot shouting late at night as people passed through the basin ,but they didn’t bother us.
At the end of the day you have to realise that you are in a City and these things happen .We were told by some of the locals who lived in some of the near by flats that it wasn’t one of the better area’s in Coventry and you had to be a bit alert as to what was going on around you. Maybe we were unlucky to witness all of this as we know several other boaters who have been in to Coventry and been fine. I would have no hesitation in coming back ,but I think Carolyn might take a bit of persuading to do so.