Sunday, 22 June 2014

Pooley hall

I must have been a good student on my boaters beginners course yesterday as I have yet to receive any criticism today. Hot sunny day and we're still cruising the Coventry canal as we somehow miscalculated our progress to the Ashby, perhaps due to our more leisurely approach. As I write this lunchtime report we are moored below the infamous Atherton locks, all 11 of them, changing the canal level by 80 feet.    Pooley hall is nearby, of early 1500 vintage and once owned by Edwin Starr and allegedly Robbie Williams.
Having completed the Atherton locks in blistering heat we are even further behind schedule. The locks are all in very,very poor condition and as a  consequence take forever to get through, filling slowly and emptying even slower. Apparently there are only two factories in England making locks and so demand outstrips supply and thus replacing dodgy locks is a slow process. We flaked-out for tea soon after the top lock and sought a pub in the hope of lowering tension. The guide book suggested a short walk to the Stag and Pheasant, but it was more like a mile, mostly uphill. The pub was as interesting as it's name. Apart from the effect of drink the return trip was easier as it was all downhill. 
On our way back We bumped into 3 guys who operate a "shop" boat selling soap and dog food. The 70ft boat front is packed with goods for sale while the 3 live in a tiny space at the rear. No mod-cons.
They were off to a boat event at Braunston.
The pub trip eased some tensions and gave some options for the remainder of our trip, which will prove interesting. We have opted to start early tomorrow morning, thus avoiding cruising in the midday debilitating heat.

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