Everyone’s Moving. 8th June

Hungerfield Bridge to Dunchurch Pools Towpath

Hungerfield view

Yet another lovely day with blue skies as far as they could reach, a red hot air balloon gently rose over the trees opposite our mooring, what a wonderful day for a flight, although I’m not sure you’d find me up there in a basket!

The old route shown by the dashed grey lines

A couple of boats had already gone past us this morning, heading towards Hawkesbury Junction so there was hope that we might get a mooring at Rugby. We pushed off and made our way along the straighter route of the Oxford Canal, numerous twists and turns, huge loops were bypassed in the 1820’s speeding up the travel time along the route. Some parts of the old loops remain and have been converted into Marinas, big arched bridges crossing the entrances.

Newbold Tunnel

Through Newbold Tunnel, plenty of boats coming towards us. Our tunnel light, not having been used this year (in fact not since going through Foulridge Tunnel), needed adjusting to favour the starboard side.

Coming into Rugby

Across the Aqueducts that signal Rugby is below. Coming through Masters Bridge 58 we were pleasantly surprised to find that end of the moorings empty. We bagged the end mooring closest to the bridge collected together our shopping bags and walked down to Tescos.

Look at all that space!

Not one delivery van in the loading bay when we arrived. The number of pickers picking shopping for others, there was almost one in every isle! We did a reasonably big shop to keep us going and thought about getting a click and collect sorted for when we get to Leighton Buzzard. As we left the store every space in the loading bay was full with a van, all being restocked for the next set of deliveries.

A big push and we were over at the water point, this tap having much better pressure than the one at Hillmorton. Onwards to find a shady spot for lunch before we got to the locks.

It really is busy down here. So many moving boats, yet it seems that everyone is doing what we are and that is moving. As yet we’ve not really had a problem getting a mooring, now watch as I’ve most probably jinxed us!

Clifton Cruisers was easily passable most of their hire fleet out and about. Their café seemed to be popular with a good sized outside area. Houlton Bridge, is a new bridge linking the new town being built on this side of Rugby. It’s not an architectural masterpiece but I do like that they have cast it’s name into the concrete.

Pretty windows

Along the moorings below Hillmorton Locks there were two interesting boats. Instead of standard windows the steel work had shapes cut out with glass behind. I quite liked the look of them, but Mick pointed out that the glass inside would be a bugger to clean. I have a feeling they were workshop boats, possibly a blacksmith.

Willow taking root

Someone has created a willow niche dedicated to the NHS, it is starting to sprout so obviously the withies have taken root. Rather a nice living tribute.

A boat was just coming out of one of the bottom paired locks, the other already empty it just needed opening up. We rose as a boat came into the lock next to us, the lady having a bit of difficulty raising the paddles. On to the next pair.

Three going down

We swapped with a boat that had just come down and started our ascent whilst another boat entered the other lock and started to empty it. Below the boat following us pulled up right in front of the gates waiting for it to be emptied, quite presumptuous, no wonder the down hill boat blasted it’s horn at them!

Waterways poetry

At the top lock we were assisted by a fellow from a boat moored just past the lock landing. He was spending his day helping boats up and down a chair sitting between the two locks so that he could sun himself as he waited.

Little boxes all squashed in

Up ahead the new town of Houlton is taking shape. Houses a little away from the canal are already up, enough space between them to roll a wheelie bin. More foundations close to the canal were waiting for the next phase of construction.

Barby Straight

The moorings along Barby Straight are something that makes me a touch jealous, a lovely garden to sit out in. The Tinman looks after one and someone has created a modesty screen with painted pallets. It is always slow going along here, passing the moored boats and when others are coming towards you too, it’s even slower.

4pm was fast approaching, we’d not far to go to reach our chosen mooring spot by Dunchurch Pools Marina but I had a zoom meeting, I just hoped that us moving wouldn’t cause problems with internet signal. Amy and I managed to connect and a few minutes later Mick pulled us in to a space for the night. I had to excuse myself from the meeting to let Tilly out, otherwise she’d have taken over totally!

Tin man with a heart

Discussions on costume designs, what would be needed for the photo shoot in a few weeks time and we touched on the set design too. I could just sort the costumes for the photo shoot now, but as I’m in charge of the budget I also want to have an idea on everything else that is needed. Time to do some research into music festivals and neon hairdos. Quite different to panto!

3 locks, 10.4 miles, 1 tunnel, 0 mysterons, 2 boxes wine, 1 new pair trousers, 1 full water tank, 1 yellow water container emptied, 1 hot day, 2 pink arms, 4pm meeting, 9 but 7 actors, 2 days prep, 1 hotel to book.


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