Today started cloudy with a very cool breeze which meant we needed to wrap up well as we were heading straight into it. Just around the corner from our mooring, the owner of this land seems to enjoy old commercial vehicles. Each time we pass they seem to change, this morning it was an excavator and an old dumper type truck last time it was a gypsy caravan.
At the next corner just before Tusses bridge this swan had decided to make her nest on the land filled with old cars and vans but a great habitat for wildlife, as a mallard had made a nest on the windscreen of a van and a cat was living inside another.
Looking back the well known Greyhound Pub which fronts onto the junction is easily spotted. It houses a large collection of Toby Jugs and is a popular venue for a Sunday lunch.
The Navigation Inn at Bulkington bridge has now been turned into a spectacular private residence, I would suspect that it must be owned by a property developer as there is a selection of ground works machines in the garden and work never stops being undertaken on the site.
Lots of people were making use of the towpath for a Sunday morning jog, walk, bike ride, or just walking the dog; but as we passed Hartshill C&RT Yard we expected to see lots of boats moored beyond the bridge but again to our surprise there was only one boat where normally it would be full.
We love the spring because it is the time of year when all the trees are begining to sprout and the baby ducks are taking their first swim. Here we passed 8 as we went under a bridge and I was concerned they might get squashed so gave them as wide a birth as I could. Later we saw an even larger family of 11 ducklings.
We moored in one of our favourite spots which was again empty of boats and after lunch when the sun came out and it warmed up we walked into Atherstone to Aldi for a couple of items. Yet again the Atherstone moorings only had 2 boats there and they moved off as we walked back to the boat. Yesterday had been busy with boat movements in both directions but today we hardly saw a boat moving, very strange.
The town has some very old streets and a lovely Market Square in front of the Church. The High Street was once the Roman Road known as Watling Street and to us the A5 but has now been bye passed as it is very narrow
Atherstone was once an important hatting town, and became well known for its felt hats. The industry began in the 17th century and at its height there were seven firms employing 3,000 people. Due to cheap imports and a decline in the wearing of hats, the trade had largely died out by the 1970s.
An annual tradition in Atherstone is the Shrove Tuesday Ball Game. It is a complete free-for-all played along Watling Street (the old Roman road) at the point where it forms the main street of Atherstone town. The ball is decorated with red, white and blue ribbons that are exchanged for money by who ever is able to obtain one and is made of thick leather to make it too heavy to kick far. It celebrated its 800th anniversary in 1999