Ten Bob Note


Tuesday 9th December 2008

Location: Brinklow, Warwickshire, Oxford Canal

Today: 7 miles, 0 locks. Total distance: 1897 miles.  Total locks: 1307

The weather was quite nice around 08:00 this morning so I decided to pull the pins and head up to Brinklow.

Stopped off by Tesco in Rugby and picked up a few odds and ends.

Stopped at Newbold to fill up with water – there is good water pressure there.

While filling the water tank, I had a chat with a guy digging a trench to install a new water point a bit further along the tow path from the existing one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the existing water point but apparently there is some problem with the nearby pub believing that the supply to the current water point is fed through their water meter so the existing point is to be removed. Now, I wouldn’t have thought it would have taken a rocket scientist to determine if it is in fact connected to the pub’s meter – with all of the taps off in the pub, does the meter start to register when the water point tap is turned on??? Anyway, The guy had already dug one big long trench from the canal all the way back to the nearest road only to be told that the new location was too near a canal bridge so he has now has to dig a complete new trench that will site the new water point an additional 10 feet or so away from the bridge – what a lot of wasted work. Can’t for the life of me understand why British Waterways have funding problems.

Passed Iain and Alison on coal boat Gosty Hill. We came along side each other mid canal and they filled me (well, the boat) up with diesel at 66p per litre. I also bought another three bags of Stoveglow coal at £7.45 per bag.

Finally moored up beside the entrance to the old Brinklow arm at just after 14:30. All in all, a very pleasant day cruising.

I will have to pop into the little shop in the village tomorrow to see if they have any of the coffee cakes in stock – unfortunately, they are too lovely to resist !!

I receive an email the other day suggesting (jokingly) that I should start up a web site (blog) for Archie. I thought to myself, Archie needs his own boat before he gets his own web site. I passed a boat this morning that would suit Archie right down to the ground – photo below. Oh, Archie did tell me that boat or no boat, he just doesn’t have enough time in his day to keep a web site maintained, far too many smells to be checked out along the tow paths.

Current Mooring

nb Archie - My Archie would look good on the roof of that - nice boat too.

Wednesday 10th

Another very cold night again last night – this is the way winters are supposed to be. Long may they continue.

Walked Archie into Brinklow village this morning to buy him the coffee cake that he enjoys so much (photo below). I should note that Pumpkin's is not the only shop in the area that stocks them. The use by date is 19th December and as Archie is a very light eater, I guess I will have to help him out a bit….

The walk from the canal to the village is a very pleasant 3 mile round trip – map here. There is a bit of a short cut that can be taken across the fields but I wanted to have a look around Rose Narrow Boats so I took the long way.

The map above clearly shows the old Brinklow arm of the canal, there are a couple of photos below of the location where the canal terminated in Brinklow. Such a shame it is no longer open. The last time I was in this area, I had a look to see if the old tow path is still there and walkable – sadly, it has gone also.

The diesel sign at Rose Narrow Boats indicates that their diesel is 110 pence per litre. Out of interest, I popped into the shop to see if they sell diesel for heating only purposes (lower duty), they do, it’s 75 pence per litre. If I were Rose, I would advertise the lower of the two prices. I paid 66p per liter to nb Gosty Hill yesterday.

In the wooded area beside my current mooring, there are a couple of large live trees that have recently been ‘butchered’ (they have not been cut down professionally). There is also a lot of chain saw wood chippings on the tow path close by. Someone (more than one I suspect) has obviously cut down parts of these live trees for fire wood. To be honest, I really can’t blame them if the wood is needed to keep them warm and they can’t afford other forms of fuel.

Begin Rant...The price of fuel (diesel, bottled gas, coal etc.) in this country these days is just absolutely ridiculous. Rant Over….

A cool start to the day today !!!

In and around Brinklow village

This is the site of the Brinklow end of the old canal arm that starts just beside my current mooring location. Shame it is no longer in use.

Old Brinklow arm - can't even walk the tow path any more - sad

Pumpkin's Deli - One of the outlets that sells the coffee cakes I like so much

The famous coffee cake

Rose narrow Boats base - spot the diesel sign, it reads 110 pence per litre

Thursday 11th

Another lovely cold and crisp morning today.

I took Archie for a nice long walk around the outskirts of Brinklow – see map. All in all, just over 4 miles round trip.

We passed Rose boats again and they are all working hard preparing the hire fleet for next season. Some of them have already been re-painted and re-blacked and they are looking good - photo below.

So far, only one boat has passed by today (it's just after 12:00PM), breaking the ice as they went. It’s nice and quiet everywhere at the moment – just the way I like it.

Rose Narrow Boats - I suppose you could call this ‘a nice bunch of Roses’

Archie off the lead on a public footpath through a field - he loves to get to run free. He doesn't get off the lead too often as he has a habit of disappearing!!

Friday 12th

A bit of a grey and damp day today, bring back the crisp dry frosty mornings. The weather forecast for tomorrow doesn’t look too good either.

I took Archie out for the same round trip walk that we went on yesterday as it is a lovely route.

While out on the walk, I came across a mattress dumped beside the hedge along a lane that leads to the canal it wasn’t there yesterday when I passed the same spot. On walking a bit further and turning the corner, I looked back to see the base of the bed on the other side of the hedge, thrown over into a farmer’s field. If someone had gone to all of the trouble to drive it to the lane to dump it, why on earth could they not have driven a bit further with it and taken it to a rubbish tip? The mind boggles.

This is what they look like out of the water - this one having it's hull blacked

What sort of people do this to our countryside?

And on the other side of the hedge.......

Brinklow village from a distance. There used to be a motte-and-bailey castle on the hill beside the church, it was built to guard the Fosse Way.

Rose Boats are now displaying both prices on their sign - makes a lot more sense

Sunday 14th

Well, what a wet day we had yesterday here in the midlands, it rained and rained and rained. I took a photo a couple of days ago of some rubbish dumped in a little stream that I cross on my circular walk around Brinklow. I took another photo of it today, what a difference, see below. I had to carry Archie in places this morning as the water was too deep for him to walk through.

2 days ago - note the rubbish dumped!!


The water was actually flowing through the gate, I had to carry Archie

I have been meaning to look into GeoCaching for quite some time now and finaly got around to it this afternoon. I joined the GeoCaching web site at: https://www.geocaching.com and searched for caches in and around the Brinklow area. I found one that is only about a mile from the boat so I loaded the coordinates into my hand held GPS unit and set off with Archie to find it. It turned out to be buried under a huge Holly tree. I made an entry in the log book and buried it again. So, that’s my first geoCache search, it certainly won’t be my last – Archie enjoyed it too.

GeoCache contents - my first find

The site of the cache - it's burried under the big Holly tree

All Material Copyright © 2010 Ernie Williams