Sunday, 23 October 2011

Sheep shape and Bristol Fashion!

Yesterday, after traveling for all of 1/2 hour, we moored at Hopwas by the village school and caught a bus into Lichfield.  We’ve been before but it was great to return.
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The beautiful west front (with 113 statues) of the cathedral.  It’s the only medieval cathedral in the country with 3 spires.
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The fabulous Rood Screen in front of the Quire.
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The Lady Chapel and the Shrine of St Chad at the far east end of the cathedral.  The stained glass windows dating from the 1530’s have been taken away for restoration but the effect of the plain glass in it’s place on the structure is wonderful.
Walking back through the town it’s surprising what can creep up on your blind side…..
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This morning we left Hopwas and continued for 40 minutes to arrive at Fazeley where we met Maggie and Michael to cruise towards Atherstone Locks with us.
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A not-so-good glimpse of the impressive Pooley Hall.  Dating from1509 it’s the oldest inhabited building in Warwickshire.
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Michael giving us a break from the steering while Maggie and Doug eat cake and James balances on the gunnel to take the photo!
We were just past Polesworth when Maggie heard a sheep bleating!  Doug said “I hope its not in the canal” but, sure enough,  it was!  It was exhausted and trapped against the the metal armco piling which was lining the edge of the canal.  It had no ‘chance’ of getting out.  We managed to grab it with the boat hook and, with one of the mooring ropes, we made a noose to go around it’s neck so that we could hold it securely.  While Doug held onto the sheep and Maggie held onto the rope we were able to hold it tight into the boat.

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It was far too heavy to lift out or even help it up and over the piling.  So we decided to then tow it for over 60 yards to a part of the bank where it could get out by itself.  Doug was holding onto it to stop it going under the boat and into the propeller!
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The poor sheep was so exhausted it still couldn’t pull itself out of the water so Doug had to jump off and pull it out!
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Finally the sheep was out of the water and out of danger and it wandered off into the field -  not the field it should have been in but at least it was alive.
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The sheep seemed to recover from its ordeal quite well!!
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An eventful half an hour - thank goodness there were four of us on board to deal with it!
Maggie and Michael left us after we moored up to walk the 8 miles back to their car at Fazeley (yes they’re quite fit!) -  thanks guys for a lovely day and look forward to meeting again in the future.
Within half an hour fellow bloggers Paul and Kath and family moored up next to us on nb Lola.  We met them at the locks at Tamworth earlier and finally managed to catch up with them for a long awaited chat a glass of wine on board ‘Chance’.  We are having dinner and then going to them tonight for a drink or two.  Another great day!
Nb Lola and Chance moored just before the Atherstone flight of Locks.


  1. Hi Doug, James & Oscar.
    Thank you so much for a thoroughly enjoyable day onboard your fantastic boat 'Chance', well done to you both! We have both learned so much, in a short time, for which we are truely grateful.
    We got back to our car at 5:30pm following a brisk and pleasurable walk. You will be glad to hear we did'nt have to rescue any sheep form the canal!! thankfully, but we were confronted by the swans and their five signets on the canal path, very protective!!. We managed to persuade them we only wanted to pass and get on our way.
    We really appreciated your time, attention and hospitality.
    Until we meet again, bye for now and happy cruising.
    Maggie & Michael.

  2. Hi Maggie and Michael. Thanks again for your company, we thoroughly enjoyed the day with you both... James did wonder if you would meet the swans on the towpath! Look forward to hearing from you in the future. Doug and James x