Friday, 16 August 2013

Hawksbury Junction and Coventry Canal – Thursday 15th August 2013

We had a late start today leaving the marina at 9.00am and following Nb Icebreaker from a well know boat builder. We soon reached Stretton Wharf home of Rose Narrowboats and met two other boats coming the other way as we came to the swing bridge. Luckily it was open so no problems in an area which can be congested at the best of times.
2 Rose Boats
Passing the moored boats we could not help but see these giant Sunflowers in one of their gardens.
1 Sunflowers
These 6 lovely gypsy type horses are in the field opposite the Ansty Club.
3 Gypsy Horses
We made good progress passing the Coventry Cruising Club arm and finding a nice mooring at Hawksbury just before the lock. After lunch June decided to give the windows a good clean whilst I went off to explore.
4 Hawksbury
The sun and warmth had brought out the lunch time drinkers at the Greyhound pub. I can never resist taking a photo of this delightful building which would have been a hive of activity in the heyday of the canal.
5 Greyhound Pub
I decided to walk down the Canal towards Coventry Basin passing Exhall basin which is now a residential marina.
6 Exhall Basin
The Greenway along which the canal runs is known for its Canal Art and is one of the largest outdoor art galleries. These metal fish and birds on bridge 11 and stone settee are examples of the types of art which can be found along its 5 mile length.
7 Collage
Some bright spark has decided to add their own art on stones and posts along the route and I must say it the Kingfishers and Herons are very good, so look out for them next time you travel this route.
8 Cov Art Collage
Passing under the noisy M6 Motorway is an experience in itself as you can see a very long way through the pillars of the elevated section. A work of modern art!
9 M6
A short walk further on brings you to Longford Bridge and a wide stretch of canal which was the original Junction of the Oxford and Coventry canals. They continued in parallel until they reach the current Junction at Hawksbury. This duplication of canals came about because the two companies could not agree on the tolls for the section of canal so they ended up building the two. The line of the original Oxford canal can still be seen through the undergrowth until it reaches the lane down to the Greyhound pub.
9aa Longford Collage
A little further on these modern apartments have been built on the site where the canal was first started in April 1768 and within 16 months the first boat sailed along the canal to Coventry.
9b Coventry Coal Wharf
Leaving the canal you can walk along a parallel path close to the East stand side of the Ricoh Arena, home of the troubled Coventry City Football club, to the Arena shopping complex with its gigantic 24hr Tesco. I counted more than 40 Checkouts.
9c Ricoh
9d Tesco

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