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Alvecote Historic Boat Show to Egginton 28 miles and 13 locks

A lovely time was had by all at last weekend's annual spectacular at the Samuel Barlow pub, Alvecote.

All the historic motors and butties lined up along the causeway

Our grateful thanks go to Malcolm Burge and his team for a wonderful get together and everyone who visited us on our butty boat Echoes over the weekend!

...... and the bows

Each day, there was a parade of boats, each one being scored on their ability to 'wind' (turn around) their boat without damage to other boats and show off their skill.

2 motor boats winding in the 'layby' winding hole

Hare winding

And in the evening, some boats entered the illuminated boat parade...

Crowds on the balcony watch the illuminated boat parade

A boat passes our boat dressed up in lights and all it's passengers were in fancy dress as well!

Monday was a bit of a washout, but some of us finished the day by having a sing song in the bar. Sorry, if we didn't get the chance to say goodbye to you, but we left early Tuesday morning to avoid the crowds.

Fazeley Junction sporting new buildings - looking very completed and smart at last!

The traffic on the canal at the moment is so busy, when 2 boats are involved, it can make the day just a bit longer, hence the early morning starts!

Predictably, this 'continuous moorer' boat was still in the same place after I don't know how any years, on a bend which wasn't designed for boats to moor on!!  Come on CRT!!

An extremely quiet Hopwas - usually the towpath moorings are full!

Narrow bit before Whittington

Tree fallen on this privately moored narrowboat - the house is for sale - now minus a tree!

After a few hours cruising, we stopped below the top lock at Fradley Junction, rounding off the day with a long walk to Alrewas for a much longed for chippy tea!

Approaching the narrowest bridge 'ole on the canal!  Always a challenge especially on a 15 foot line!  

This morning, we set off early to get the Fradley locks done and Alrewas river section out of the way, before everyone else came out to play.  Alrewas was really busy with moored boats, probably due to the Craft event happening over the next few days.

Burton-on-Trent's Shobnall Basin - boats manoeuvring for fuel and passing boats, busy busy!

Briefly, we moored just past Shobnall Basin, whilst I sprinted back to the chandlery to buy paint supplies for over the winter.  Just reversing out from the wharf, were our friends Nan and Don on narrowboat Xanadu, off on a short break.  We keep bumping into people!  Glad to know all was well with them.

Flowerpot people looking after this boat

Mill House pub as popular as ever with boaters, shame about the ever encroaching reeds on the offside, making passing oncoming boats an impossible task!

Moored before Willington  - Richard putting Turk's Heads around the stern fenders on the motor boat.
The butty is now officially packed away for the winter, Alvecote being our last festival for the year. So sad!

Lister having a spread out in the sun

With the beautiful perennial tones of the A38 in the background, we have moored and taken a breath before carrying on tomorrow towards Lincolnshire.  Returning to work is on the list for Richard, where I will spend the winter in pleasant seclusion, painting goods to sell next season....

Stoke Bruerne, Blisworth Show and on to Alvecote (Coventry Canal) (60 miles, 28 locks)

Thank you to everyone who came to see us at the Blisworth Canal Festival.  We had a wonderful time at this key event in our diary and will return next year.. hopefully the weather won't interfere too much!

Moored at Gayton Junction to do the ablutions, butty left over the other side - all alone!

We have had a steady plod back up the Grand Union to the Buckby flight of locks, where we had to make a decision on which direction to go.  The choice was Foxton or Alvecote for the Bank Holiday weekend.

William looking splendicious in it's livery

There had been a lot of politics surrounding bookings for this year's Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering, as the RCTA had taken over the booking in of the trade boats and cancelled pre-booked boats from last year.  A payment to RCTA was now due, where previously a donation had been given to the marina owner for charity.

Approaching Braunston tunnel

Our friends Tracy and Rod with their boats Olive and Biddie were still going and encouraged us to call the marina and see if they were still expecting us.  Apparently, we were still on the list! Decision made.  We passed through Braunston tunnel and down the locks, mooring at the junction for the night.

Moored on the Midland Chandler's visitor moorings (with permission!!) because Braunston was rammed!

Early start the next morning, to get out past Braunston and avoid the holidaymakers

Tiptoeing past Rod and Tracy, so as not to wake them up!

Crazy mooring from Nuneaton and Brighton right after a bridge hole!  Not much room for manoeuvre!

Newbold Tunnel -it's only diddy!

Stopping for a 'big shop' at Tesco in Rugby with Rod and Tracy close behind us, we were happy to continue for a bit longer to find a quiet mooring for the night.

Beautiful wooded area - we moored just past here

Old wharf entrance where some boats are moored in complete privacy

Hawkesbury Junction was completely rammed as well with boats.  We were ready for breakfast, so passed through and moored around the corner, before continuing on past the Ashby turn...

Oh no, what is going on!!!

The bridge'ole before the turning, seemed like the safest place to stop the boats, out of the way of the carnage before us!  It was like the okey cokey. A boat was trying to go in the turn, and had over shot, then another boat followed him, but then as we passed they both backed out again! There were boats coming behind us and oncoming.  But the butty hit nothing and we carried on leaving the confusion behind us.

Hartshill Yard - the charming waterway maintenance yard

Nuneaton went on forever as usual and we were glad to get through there.  Always seems so uninviting and urban.  Today, however, with the flowers out in gardens and not so much rubbish about, it wasn't half as bad.

Restored steamroller in Atherstone - along with Rod and Tracy (steam enthusiasts) the owner spoke to us about her restoration and show calendar for this year

After a few locks at Atherstone, we moored in the Long Pound, about halfway down and met my sister and her boyfriend off the train.  I hadn't seen her for years, so the visit was jammed with catching up and future plans.  We used them as lock labourers the next day, earning a carvery meal at The Pretty Pigs in the evening!

A bit of loverly sunshine for Lister - at the Samuel Barlow.  Scar barely visible now!  Read Lister's Story

Saying farewell to our visitors after the second day, we began thinking about the Bank Holiday weekend at the Samuel Barlow, Alvecote, where we are now moored.

The Samuel Barlow pub

Come and see the historic narrowboats and the stalls and us at Alvecote this weekend!!

Fenny Stratford, Linslade Festival and return to Stoke Bruerne (29 miles, 16 locks)

Thank goodness Lister has been given the 'all clear' following his weeks of recovery from his mauling attack on the Buckby flight. Lister's story

'Don't beat me master'.  Lister in full 'Dobby' (Harry Potter) mode today! Wound still evident but healed up nicely. 

We contacted the owners of the ridgeback and they immediatey settled the bill, so we can put the whole business behind us now.

Early opening up on the Sunday and the crowds are starting to arrive at Linslade

Last weekend, we enjoyed a wonderful weekend at the Linslade Festival.  Thank you to everyone who came to see us in our Gift Shop and hope to see you again when we come back next year!

An evening meal at The Globe at Linslade - disappointing quality from the previous year, I'm afraid

We had met up with friends again, Bob and Sandra (All Things Spanish) who sell Spanish related products, icecream and tea and coffee, and also Geraldine and Michael (Cheese Boat) who sell surprisingly cheese! So to visit the local pub for a quick evening meal had to be in order!

Another pub The Grove looking beautiful with all it's hanging baskets, at Linslade

We also met up with our friends Rod and Tracy on their boats Biddie and Olive and had to go for a meal with them, as well, later in the week. Well it would have been rude not to!

A bit blurry but Rod and Tracy were great company for the evening at The Ship in Linslade

Lovely leafy Linslade

Returning back towards Stoke Bruerne for this weekend, we passed back through the locks and through Milton Keynes, uneventfully.

Herons get everywhere and stand motionless so that you can't see them....

This shed is still standing - the lean a little more pronounced this year!

Rod and Tracy had already arrived at Stoke Bruerne and helped us up through the locks the following morning.  Thanks guys!!

3 pairs of boats all in a row - Raymond and Nutfield, Biddie and Olive and us right at the back!

Modelling my newest creation!

We moored up behind Tracy and Rod and spent the evening talking, Richard and Rod on guitars, Tracy and me on the wine!  I had finished sewing up my new jumper, started ages ago, so I was really chuffed, especially because it fits!

Richard and Lister this morning in Stoke Bruerne

Next weekend we will be setting up for the huge The Blisworth Canal Festival,which involves the whole village.  It should be great, so please come along if you can and join in the fun!