Marston Junction - Ashby CanalThe Ashby Canal is a 30 mile, lock free arm off the Coventry Canal originally leading to coal fields at the exotic sounding Ashby-de-la Zouch. Coal was carried until 1970.
It is a very rural canal, rather shallow with stone arched bridges taking farm tracks and country lanes across it. On Thursday night we stopped outside Hinckley and went into the town on Friday morning. A fair walk into the town took us past HJ Halls sock manufacturers.
They have been here since 1880 according to their sign, although hosiery has been made here from much earlier with the first stocking machine in Leicestershire intalled in 1640.
On Saturday we got to the end of the canal at Snarestone, and walked into Measham along the old line of the canal. Again quite a hike, not much there in the village, but it gives its name to the traditional barge ware, Measham pottery, now very expensive.
We were in Market Bosworth on Sunday, a glorious sunny, hot day. Here is where the Battle of Bosworth took place, where Richard III was killed by Henry Tudor in 1485. BW have just closed the Battlefield moorings on the off side. We didn't go to the Battle site or visitor centre, not sure it is open yet. We did however walk into Shenton village, a very pretty village sitting between canal and river.
Another quiet rural mooring again last night, but Ian was happy to be in sight of the Triumph Motorbike factory.
Back at Marston junction we turned left back onto the Coventry canal and headed for Coventry itself.
Marston Junction - Old stop lock
We soon came across Charity Dock, at first glance, a boatyard coming in to view,
A closer look, boatyard or scrapyard?
An even close look, and someone has a sense of humour,
An odd collection indeed.
Very soon after come Hawkesbury Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the North Oxford.
Several boats were on the move through here. The old pumping engine house stands at the side of the junction, it used to pump water to the canal from a well.
Iron bridge over entrance to North Oxford canal
From here it is about 5 miles into Coventry Basin. The canal winds its way through houses, business units and old factory sites. It is much improved over recent years, with old derelict sites now filled with new homes or workplaces. And into Coventry Basin..
Through the narrow bridge, with no towpath, so at night time the basin could be closed off. No boats were allowed to stay overnight at one time presumably to stop anyone from making off with goods from the warehouses in the darkness. More pics of the basin and the city tomorrow.
Friday - Monday
45 miles, 0 locks