Yes, it’s finally happened, we’ve started our 2017 cruising, but first we had an appointment with some “Young People”, Chris’ great-nieces Courtney & Hatty had arranged to visit Twycross Zoo with us along with Courtney’s little boy Noah and Hatty’s big boy(friend) Dom.
It was a grey day but we really enjoyed ourselves and we enticed the crew back to the boat where after plying them with tea and cake we pressganged them into boating up the first six Atherstone locks as far as The Kings Head. We were lucky enough to find their mooring free and so were able to reward them in the bar, before they travelled back to Northamptonshire where my big sister, Jan no doubt had a meal ready for them.
For our part we enjoyed a meal at the Kings Head and with their permission spent the night their mooring.
Sunday 7th May
We were up and out by 10 am, but first things first, a trip to the Co-op for breakfast in their café, a very reasonable £3 ‘5 item’ breakfast for me and a Salmon & Egg Bagel for Joy. Just a top-up shop at Aldi and we were off. Five more locks, of which the first was in our favour, the next two weren’t then we met a boat at the last but one and a volunteer lock-keeper opened the top lock for us.
I got into conversation with the locky and found we were both from Wiltshire, he had had a career on the railways, Swindon Works, we both attended Swindon College and he knew Marine Mountings (later known as R.A.Lister & Co.) where I did my apprenticeship including a spell in the Special Fittings department where the SR & ST range of engines were marinised, some destined to power canal boats. Who’d a thought it? 1
The sun came and we enjoyed it for out for the rest of the day as we made our way the few miles to Hartshill, where we moored outside The Anchor for a well deserved pint with our lunch.
In the afternoon I touched up a few rust spots on the roof then tortured passers-by by practicing my accordion while Joy started a new jigsaw.
1. There’s a pub in Lockeridge, Wiltshire called The Who’d A Thought It but that’s another story.