Thursday, 1 October 2015

Saltisford Arm, Warwick and the Hatton Flight

Wednesday 30th September to Thursday 1st October

Wednesday 30th September
Saltisford Arm and Warwick

We had intended having a good long walk round Warwick after exploring the Saltisford Arm, but it was not to be as Chris is not feeling too good - a cough and cold that is just hanging on.  A quiet morning was required with a gentle stroll round the arm and out to Priory Park in Warwick in the afternoon.

The Arm is a wonderful place to moor - we had emailed Jackie before arriving and were assured there would be a space - there was.  Ian made us welcome and sorted us out with electricity and information on what was where.  We were last here 17 years ago on nb Cleddau and it bears no resemblance to what it was.  A lot has been done and it is an oasis of calm - well worth a visit.

There were a lot of men at work trimming bushes, trees and strimming edges all day, but it was not until we went out after lunch that we noticed what the high viz vests stated - 'Community Payback'. They certainly did a good job.

So a quick trip round the arm:

This is the orchard - fairly newly planted by the look of it

 With a very handsome 'Bernard' made by Alan Lorentzen to commemorate the 1100th Anniversary of the founding of Warwick in AD 914 - just a shame he has to be chained up.

The sensory garden

The contemplation area

And at the far end this sculpture entitled 'Celebration'.  It was done by Paul Margetts and was donated to the SCT and it is dedicated to all the volunteers who have contributed to the success of the Saltisford Canal Trust over the last 30 years.

The newest addition is this conference room - a wonderful place to conduct business.

We set off towards to Priory Park and I could not resist this picture - I don't think that even the police could get through here!  In fairness it leads to a disused Police Station.

The park was a great hit with our four legged friend

A couple of pubs with history caught our eyes:

The Punch Bowl:

And The Black Horse Inn

When we got home we popped past nb Hadar and had a chat with Jo and Keith.

Thursday 1st October 2015
Saltisford Arm to Just before Shrewley Tunnel
4 miles, 21 locks

Another wonderful morning dawned and we headed out of Saltisford Arm and went along to the bottom lock, where we moored up, made a cuppa, did the breakfasts pots and waited for 30 minutes hoping someone would turn up to join us.  No luck and we rather think no one else went up the locks today - we were at the top for an hour and no one came past us, so we made the right decision to go for it.

Autumn colours as we leave Saltisford Arm

We were in the first lock (26) at 10:05 and exited the top lock (46) 3.25 hours later.

I worked the first three locks when we swapped roles, however, Chris only managed two before having to take over the helm again - he really is below par.  I popped out to the garage at B52, Ugly bridge to get a paper and just after that our salvation arrived in the form of a voluntary lock keeper, whose name we never ascertained as his name badge was hidden under his life jacket.  He was, however, a great help which we both really appreciated. He stayed with us all the way to the last three locks.

It is not until you get to lock 36 that you really start to look up the hill!

 This is a view looking back down the flight - you can just see the church in Warwick in the far distance.

Between locks 42 and 43 is a C&RT office and this is where we crossed paths with President and Kildare (an old working boat and butty which were breasted up together) last summer and I took refuge where the C&RT boat was today.

I do love this dragonfly sculpture to be found by lock 42

We passed very few boats going down, but I just had to take a picture of nb Griffin

 with their rather unusual passenger

 Having taken on water and disposed of rubbish etc at the top lock we moved along and tied up on the long term moorings which were very empty, but just to have a very quick sandwich and then we were off again in search of some more open canal away from the trees and in the sun.  Just look at this sky for 1st October.

We found the perfect spot just before bridge 58 and within sight of the Shrewley tunnel.  Our only neighbours are cows, sheep and so far, just one duck.

It is also the first time for days that we have had the side hatch on the water side with a view.

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