Well, where did we go last summer?
I think I left the Blog at Braunston - we went on to Hawkesbury Junction and then into Coventry.
|In the basin at Coventry city.|
Then we went on past Bedworth (we decided that we would leave 'The Ashby' for another year), Nuneaton, Atherstone and Tamworth. From there we took the Coventry Canal north from Fazeley and headed towards Fradley Junction.
We were by then experiencing two problems with the boat. The first (which actually started earlier in the year) was getting worse - the grub screws holding the prop-shaft in place were working loose (and letting the prop-shaft walk-out as soon as you went into reverse. It was getting to the point where these had to be tightened every couple of hours or so. Whilst at Braunston (earlier) I had bought a replacement split-coupling, however this thing was HUGE and would not fit in the space, so I returned it and obtained a full refund. Stopping every couple of hours was not really a problem but finding a smaller version of the split-coupling was.
The second problem which started sometime after leaving Hopwas was that the engine would not run smoothly. It kept speeding up and slowing down. By the time we arrive at Fradley village it would only run correctly on tick-over. The whole of the next morning was spent changing the fuel filter and doing a full fuel system bleed. Problem solved!
When we arrived at Fradley Junction we joined the T&M and headed for Rugeley and Great Haywood.
|The very narrow cut at Armitage|
|Chris, Cath, Paul & Judy helping me through Filance Lock, Penkridge|
Southwards we went, passing Autherley Junction and then turning right at Aldersley Junction to go up the Wolverhampton 21.
Then it happened! Half way up the Wolverhampton 21, suddenly no reverse! This time the prop-shaft had become badly scored by the tips of the grub-screws and would not go back in. It was a lovely hot day. I was in the stern section filing the lumps and bumps off to try and get the prop-shaft back into its housing. It seemed to take forever. The prop-shaft is always greasy, just about impossible to hold and relatively hard to file away. Eventually it went back in and we were able to make our way to the top of the hill (Wolverhampton) and then on into Gas Street Basin.
|Definitely the scruffiest boat in Gas Street basin!|
We left Birmingham through the leafy suburbs of Edgbaston and stopped at Cadbury World. When we saw the price to go in (and the queues) we bought some chocolate, decided that we had been there anyway (well the visitor centre) and went on.
|Through the guillotine lock on to the North Stratford|
|And under the lift bridge at Shirley|
|Out came the old coupling...|
|And in went the new (with a couple of millimetres to spare)|
We then went down the Lapworth Flight to Kingswood Junction, down the Hatton Flight to Warwick and enjoyed a meal in Warwick town centre.
After that it was on through Leamington Spa, along to Napton and back on to the Oxford. Judy tends not to come to the boat once we start September so I come and do a bit of painting and enjoy the good weather during September and October.
|It is a bit difficult to see but this panels has been stripped and re-painted.|
|This is the VonHaus on the wood-burner.|
Now I have caught up ready for our adventures in 2017.