Our friends Carol & Ted met us at Hawkesbury Junction on Tuesday and we cruised down to Coventry Basin where we spent the last couple of nights. The basin is quite near to the city centre but despite being surrounded by sympathetically designed buildings many of them are empty and the Tea Rooms were still closed when we left at 10am. It’s a shame as the part between the two arms of the basin is crying out for an outdoor cafe or coffee shop but the area just doesn’t have the same ‘buzz’ as say Castle Quays at Banbury, maybe it’s just a little too far from the shopping area.
We visited the excellent Transport Museum (free entry) which celebrates Coventry’s car and cycle manufacturing heritage as well as a Blitz Experience. It was Coventry’s prominence as a manufacturing centre made it a target for the Luftwaffe during WW2 and resulted in the destruction of the Old Cathedral (free entry, which we visited) and the building of the adjacent New Cathedral (£7.00 entry, which we we didn’t!).
We visited the extensive shopping centre, saw Lady Godiva’s statue and looked up a friend of Carol & Ted’s, Garry Kirton who has a men’s outfitters shop First for Men next to one of the university buildings which we remarked looked like a 1930’s cinema, the reason for this was that it used to be The Odeon!
Today we are headed back up to Hawkesbury, not the most picturesque journey, lots of floating rubbish, even the sculpture trail has been ‘enhanced’ by graffiti artists. Joy & co went shopping at Tesco next to The Ricoh Arena, home to Coventry City F.C., whilst I had an appointment with the weed hatch to remove the plastic bags which we have collected around the propeller this morning!
We dropped Carol & Ted back at Hawkesbury and headed off towards Birmingham, past Marston Junction, though Nuneaton which has a much more genteel feel about it’s back gardens, although the propeller had to be cleared of rubbish twice more and at one bridge where we pulled over to let another boat through we scraped over something (maybe a shopping trolley) which actually lifted the stern as we went over it!
Tonight we are moored out in the countryside about a mile away from Atherstone with the telly set up ready for That Wedding tomorrow!