At The Gate
This morning’s start was delayed by a call from Karen, our daughter in Australia but we were still away by 9:00 in fine but cool, cloudy conditions, occasionally the sun appeared and made the water sparkle.
First impressions were that this section of canal needed some TLC with bankside erosion almost reaching the towpath in spots and sightlines through the first two bridges badly obstructed by overgrown foliage.
An hour later we were at Streethay Wharf, however, and an hour after that at Whittington Brook where the Coventry Canal (detached section) mysteriously changes into the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal with just a boundary stone to mark the change. I’m sure there was once a good reason for this but it seemed to coincide with an improvement in the condition of the bank.
We passed Tamhorn Bridge where we think Catty jumped ship on the way up, so we made sure she was not able to repeat the trick. Through Hopwas Woods which has signs warning that it is a Military Firing Range and the village of Hopwas which has a pub either side of the canal.
No stop here for us though, although we paused briefly at Fazeley Junction for cheese on toast as it was still a bit chilly.
Keeping left at the junction we were under way again and back on the Coventry Canal (main line). Joy stayed inside to prepare tonight’s dinner and before she had finished we were at Glascote Locks.
There was a queue and by the time it was our turn she was ready to bring the boat in. We helped a single-hander, who was following us, through as there was no hurry.
At the top of the locks was Anchor Bridge, but we found that The Anchor pub was there no more having been replaced by a new Co-op in the same style. See the story here in the Tamworth Herald.
In just another half hour we reached our goal, The Gate Inn at Ammington. “What! Moored outside a pub again.” you say? Actually we moored on the towpath opposite but within a few minutes the boat on the pub mooring left and we snaffled their place.
As we have visitors coming tomorrow this was ideal and as is the etiquette in these situations we patronised the establishment and were tempted by their 2 for 1 offer to stay for a meal. Joy enjoyed Plaice & Chips and it was Spinach & Mushroom Frittata for me, so Joy’s creation went into the freezer. The landlady also offered an electrical hook-up and water so we will be honour bound to have lunch there with our visitors tomorrow.