From our mooring Tuesday night we journeyed through the lovely Warwickshire countryside …………
…… through the odd looking Shrewley tunnel where the canal builders were forced to tunnel under the village. Although the tunnel was wide enough for two narrow boats to pass there was no room for a towpath – so the horses enjoyed their own separate tunnel above and to one side of the main.
We were soon being helped down the 21 locks of the Hatton Flight by a very nice volunteer lock keeper. The flight covers just about 2 miles and raises (or lowers) the canal 150 feet. The workshops about a 3rd of the way down are in excellent condition and still used.
This massive flight is rather daunting if you look too far ahead but, if you dare to, there’s a great view of the tower of St Mary’s Church, Warwick in the distance. The paddle gear is monstrous and it takes 23 turns to raise each paddle. As there is only 45 seconds between emptying a lock with one rather than two paddles, we opted to use just one set. (Facts courtesy of the lock keepers!)
Half way down the lock keeper bade farewell to us and left us to the last half on our own. We thanked him for his help and had given him a cup of tea and a biscuit on the way down.
We didn’t spend too long on our own as we caught up with nb “Musu Maja” which, remarkably is an MGM boat like our own, which Chris and Karen have recently purchased.
With the Hatton Locks behind us we found moorings in the delightful arm of the Saltisford Trust. We were welcomed by Jo and Keith on nb “Hadar” who were to be very helpful over the two days of our stay. We were scheduled to meet up with Doug’s parents and a dear friend, Rose, during our stay.
A walk around Warwick is a joy for those interested in history and architecture. The tower of St. Mary's Church was now a lot bigger than our view of it from the lock flight. Originally 12th century it was rebuilt around 1700 after a fire.
We briefly chatted to a young couple who were about to open a cafe (called Lobster) which was intriguingly decorated by their amazing collection of antiques.
Just a couple of pics - the town is full of wonderful things.
The reason for our stay in Warwick was to welcome Doug’s parents Vilma and Derek who had travelled up from Devon to see us. We had a lovely time catching up with them and enjoyed a ‘family’ evening meal in “Ask” on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday, family friend Rose arrived to meet up with us all. Sadly, husband Peter was unable to be with us but instead, Rose brought their two rescue grey hounds Bella and Toby with her.
The Saltisford Arm had been given some remarkable improvements since our last visit and this lovely seating arrangement made from old lock gates is just one of them.
Vilma and Rose walking Bella and Toby around the moorings.
Saying farewell to Doug’s parents at mid day on Thursday, Rose and the two of us walked into Warwick for some lunch and we found the most stunning Pizza Express we’ve ever seen!
And, in a quiet corner of this amazing building we found a few members of the Japanese Rugby team – like you do of course!
Leaving our Japanese guests to enjoy their own lunch we sat in our little corner and enjoyed ours.
It was marvellous to catch up with Vilma and Derek and Rose (with Bella and Toby!) – definitely a grand stay for us in Warwick.