Monday, August 08, 2022

After the Event

 Sorry folks, we snuck out on Herbie without telling you. Well the phone/internet signal was too poor to post pictures and anyway we were busy having fun.  Now we're back on line I can reveal all.

We went down to Warwick and back with our son Peter and here are some of the things we learned.

One good turn deserves a lot of others:

Many of you will know the big Grand Union locks north of Wigrams turn with their imposing looking paddle gear. You might also have counted how many turns of the windlass it takes to open them up.  Most times it's about 21. However there's one set that takes 50 turns.  At Bascote staircase lock.  Here's Herbie in the bottom half while I stand up by the paddle that lets the water from the top half into the bottom.

 I was busy winding up the paddle thinking "Hang on, I'm sure this has gone more than 21 turns", and it kept on going, and going!  So when it came time to close the paddle again, I counted, and sure enough it was 50 or 51 turns.

Here you see the view from the bottom lock looking up.

Well there's deep water behind those gates and the paddles in these locks let the water in from underneath, so they're pretty deep and hold back a lot of water pressure.  I'm guessing that's why those middle paddles are so low geared.  The paddle itself doesn't rise any more than others, so that can't be the reason for all those turns.

HS2 rumbles on:

Down near Wood Lock the work on HS2 is all too plain to see.  They've built a conveyor belt bridge over the canal which appears to be shifting soil or ballast of something from one side to the other.

As I walked along the towpath beneath, I could hear the rumbling above and see the stuff spilling off the far end. 

You might also have read a week or so ago that one of their tunnel boring machines has completed its bore beneath Itchington Wood not far away.  It's not hard to see where all the money is going.

There are some Eco land owners left:

Further down the canal just before you get to Radford Semele there is a lovely stretch of good mooring alongside a wood.  We moored there both going down and on the way back.

One night a lady walked past and introduced herself as the owner of the wood.  She is managing it carefully to improve its ecology whilst making it available for boaters to enjoy.  She's created small clearings where she said boaters are welcome to sit and have a barbecue. Not only that she's encouraged people to create bits of art work in the wood.

Here's view from inside one of the clearings with Herbie moored just outside.

See the fire pit?  Here's a closer look where you can see she's carefully lined it with pebbles.

Posh or not so posh:

Beyond Radford Semele you get to Royal Leamington Spa.  That sounds posh doesn't it?  Well bits of it may well be but not by the canal it ain't.  Here's a typical view.

It's OK but not posh.  In the past I've read of people advising not to moor overnight in Leamington.  I think you'd be ok if the pick the right spot.  On the upside there is a really good mooring adjacent to Lidl on the Warwick side of town.

Leamington appears to be divided from Warwick by the river Avon, or should I say a river Avon since there are quite a few of them in England?  No, I think I should say The Avon as it is the proper Shakespeare's one  ( and 'when I were a lad' I would cross it every day on the way to school in Evesham.)  An aqueduct carries the canal over it as you enter Warwick.

Hoping for a good pub
Lastly we wanted to sample the delights of the Cape of Good Hope pub in Warwick.  People have been extolling it's virtues to me for some time so it had to be explored.  

Hmmm, well it's fine, but it ain't no Greyhound.  It's a decent pubby pub with good beer and standardish pub grub (although Peter did have moules frites).  I suspect part of it's appeal is that it is the first pub met by those who have just descended the gruelling Hatton flight.

And so we turned round outside the Saltisford arm and did it all again in the opposite direction.  22 locks each way, which at our age and condition  is quite enough for a week's trip, especially these big hefty ones.

More observations later.


Pip and Mick said...

Every time I go through Bascote Staircase I try to work out what the mode of operation would have been when the side ponds were working. Every time I think I've worked it out and then I forget!

NB Oleanna

Herbie Neil said...

Maybe it would be like Foxton or Watford with a red and a white paddle to first empty into the pond then to empty the pond into the lower lock.