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Braunston to Alvecote (39 miles, 15 locks)

As we approach our penultimate festival at Alvecote Historic Boat Gathering, the boats get yet another waft over with the spray gun...

Richard takes off final bits of masking tape after the painting is done

We had decided to have the weekend off and take a steadier pace towards Alvecote, given the dire weather forecast.

Lots of rain as we passed through Rugby

The titchy Newbold tunnel ~ 189 metres long with a towpath either side and 2 way traffic

Eclipse pulls Echoes around the bend

Our mooring overnight on the outskirts of Hawkesbury Junction, near Coventry.  Richard picks up the cross straps as we begin another day cruising.  And whilst we were there, we saw a water vole, perhaps the same one we saw as bold as brass, last time we moored here back in April!

Waiting at the lock as Richard works the motor through.  Frustratingly, I couldn't get off the butty as boats were moving about either side of the landing area, so I had to watch

Collapsed roof!  I did think that these old buildings would be protected in some way as they are part of our heritage!!

Round the junction with the Greyhound pub on the left.  Let's see if we can do it on one...

No problem, but then we are only a combined length of 120feet as opposed to the old working boats at 140 plus!  And we are onto the Coventry Canal.

The weird and slightly scary Charity Dock, with all it's manikins and mountains of scrap

Through Nuneaton and the boat yard on the left, usually a wiggle to get through here!

Time for breakfast on the outskirts and we met up with Caroline and Nick on their boats Unspoilt by Progress and butty Tewkesbury.  We chatted for a while, intrigued by their story, as Nick writes books and produces film about adventures involving motorbikes around the world, following his epic Black Country to the Black Sea narrowboat expedition in 1992!

Hartshill Yard

We arrived at the top of the  Atherstone flight of 11 locks and had a little wait as the backlog of boats subsided and then the lockies helped us down the first 5. Great to have crew! 
We moored in the long pound overnight ready for our Sunday dinner at tea time, worth the wait!

Animal farm ~ we never see any humans at this farm but buildings and animals are constantly changed...

Yayy!  We arrive at Barlows, Alvecote Marina, but pass through to wind further along the canal

Successfully turned, Richard puts the butty on a short line back to the marina. There, fellow boaters help us moor in the wind temporarily until our proper festival mooring becomes available later in the week.

Time to catch up with friends and enjoy the ambience, taking part in the historic boat gathering. There will be lots of music, beer (hopefully, else we will be singing 'Pub with no beer'!) and good company over the weekend.  Come and join us if you are in the Tamworth area!

Blisworth festival and on to Braunston (30 miles and 20 locks)

Chamberlain Carrying Co. has had a busy couple of weeks, since leaving Stoke Bruerne..

This was an end panel for a pigeon box (the box is a vent which sits on roof of boat covering engine room skylight).  A commission collected from Blisworth show.

Photo of my husband Richard taken by good friend Kathy 

Local newspaper wanted some footage of the Blisworth show 

Watering can didn't stay on the shelf long!

Gayton Junction looking quiet for a change! 

An early start leaving Blisworth on Tuesday morning after a day of rest and shopping

The container boat is coming on with bow doors fitted and a barby on the foredeck!

Overgrown bits are getting moreso

Campsite was busy!

I love the signwriting on this boat

Round the bend after Weedon

The old boy is still sitting there!

and on to Whilton and the cafe for breakfast, well it would be rude not to drop by

New train and new boats as we climb up Buckby locks

After mooring just past Norton Junction, we began early again to tackle Braunston tunnel

Top lock at Braunston with the cottage for sale behind if anyone is looking for a desirable residence with 3 acres!

Dropping down

Looking for a pace to moor can be tricky in Braunston!

Shopping done and a visit to the Community Cafe and our lovely friends Jenni and Chris

I awoke this morning to lovely misty views and Richard replacing the contacts on the tunnel lamp...

Next we will be travelling towards Alvecote for the Historic Boat Rally on Bank holiday weekend.   A great weekend of entertainment and meeting old friends.  Meanwhile, I have to paint as commissions are coming in all the time.....

Stoke Bruerne to Linslade, a festival and return to Cosgrove! 40 miles and 16 locks

Thank you to everyone who made the journey to visit Linslade on Saturday.  We had a wonderful day and all things permitting, we will return next year.

We began our week by setting off down the locks at Stoke Bruerne and filling up with water at the bottom at the waterpoint

Whilst we were there, historic narrowboat pair Nuneaton and Brighton came out of the bottom lock behind us on their way to London on their annual coal run.  
3 pairs together: Jule's Fuels pair on their mooring, the aforementioned and our's!

Out into the country again

Approaching Cosgrove, I jumped off the butty to pull this narrowboat back against the piling and re-secure it

Cosgrove historic iron trunk aquaduct

The butty crossing the aquaduct

Catching up with Nuneaton and Brighton again.  They were on a long line through Milton Keynes, and taking it very steady, so we passed them to get out of their way!

Saturday's festival was busier than ever and everyone reported good takings!

Our gift shop with many people along the towpath

The festival finished around 5pm, but there were lots of people milling around.
Sunday, we had a day of rest, especially after his lordship had managed to fall spectacularly off the bow of the butty on Saturday evening, bruising his back on the path (and pride!) 

 Return journey yesterday began with a top up on the waterpoint, extremely camouflaged by a willow tree

After a degree of harsh pruning with the loppers, we hopefully ensured that no one else would lose any items off their roof pulling in for water, after us!  Fountains ~ get this sorted!!

Entering the straight to take us past Tesco and boaters' 2 hour dedicated mooring for shopping

Bob and Sandra's boat 'All Things Spanish' 

Passing Wyvern hire boats and a quick moor up for us, errands in town and return to moor down below Soulbury Locks for the evening

Setting off this morning, we past the wonderful gardens of widebeam Winterfell (Yes ~ Game of Thrones aficionados, there is a boat called Winterfell!)

Private marina at Fenny Stratford

Signets seem to be thriving in this part of the world!

We intend to get to Cosgrove for this evening and then Stoke Bruerne for the weekend to trade.  The next festival on the list is Blisworth the following weekend, please come and join us if you can!