Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ice Crust

First ice crust on the canal this week at start of winter season - yikes, oh no …. however, it did only last the day …. Except when we moved today, we did have to do a bit of ice-breaking!   It was only cat ice (why is it called “cat ice”?   My guess is that a cat can walk on it without falling through, but I could be wrong!)   Apparently temperature is going to plummet tonight to minus 8 degrees, so we might well wake up to icy canal as it’s also been jolly cold today. Most of day it’s been around 2 degrees outside (but feeling like minus 2 because of wind chill) and as I write this Fritz (our trusty weatherman) is saying it’s 1.6 degrees outside.

We moved today up to Kingswood Junction where the Grand Union, North Stratford and South Stratford Canals meet.   We had a walk up the Lapworth Lock Flight to Lock 9 to see how the work was progressing as is telling us the lock will be open this Friday, 9 December so we can then progress into Birmingham.   The nice man we found at the lock assured us the navigation would be open Friday - they only had to clear and tidy up after fitting a new top gate and re-hanging the bottom gate.   Ha - we’ll be mad if we get iced in now!

Went a walk to discover the delights of HattonWorld yesterday which is about quarter of mile from Bridge 55, so only about a mile from our mooring.   To say I was a bit disappointed is putting it mildly!  Obviously a farm who had diversified by adapting farm outbuildings into retail units.   Usual array of “homemade” jewellery, stained glass, furniture etc etc.   The garden centre big loss and the Farm Shop (who advertise very encouragingly on the leaflet) only had a few packs of sausage and bacon.   They must have had a mad rush on at the weekend eh.  Oh well - it was a destination and a lovely sunny day - even though a bit icy round the nose end! -  so it wasn’t a completely waste of time.   At least I didn’t spend any money!   So, we walked a bit further to the top lock of Hatton Flight and had a mug of coffee.

If you have enjoyed a sausage or two, or maybe a few rashers of bacon with free range eggs from Dan at “George’s Pork and Poultry Shop” at lock 15 of the Audlem Flight on the Shropshire Union Canal, then you’ll be as upset as us because we’re told that CART have given Dan notice to quit.   Please sign the petition at this location

Also you could drop an email to CART at .  

Well, I did catch the train to Warwick to do the food shopping for the week as the shop at Shrewley is limited.   Good for basics, newspapers and incorporates a Post Office but as the return train fare was only £2.80 and the trains pretty frequent, I went off on a jolly!  

Last week I told you about the glass exploding in our stove ---- thanks “bwp” for suggestion of  See if you can get the sheared off bolt drilled out and tapped, I had the same problem with my Morso stove. Drilling and tapping and replacement of bolts with stainless steel bolts = £25 + price of replacement glass still a lot less than a new door
Dai likes this idea and plans to get it sorted once the fire isn’t lit 24/7 (so probably next August!!).   We did find a replacement door but at around £190, we could almost buy a brand new complete stove instead so that idea is out of the window!

So, if all goes to plan, next week’s blog will be from somewhere around Gas Street in Birmingham.   

Since last blog we have done … 4 miles and 0 locks  
Total since Setting Off ….. 2069 miles and  1701 locks  

Trust me - it's ice on the canal
on the top lock of Hatton Flight
looking down Hatton Flight
thank god that's the end of double candlestick locks
for us this year!
I really like this dragonfly sculpture in a pond
by side of one of the Hatton locks
especially posted for Lisa and Fred

work still going on at Lock 9 of Lapworth Flight
but we are assured it will be open again on Fri 7 Dec
and this is why they needed the gantry at Lock 9
old lock gate
can we have it please for firewood?  Solid oak - perfect !
Kingswood Junction
look at the lovely bridge metalwork
nice sign - pity you can't read it!
at kingswood Junction so the three directions are
1.  Grand Union
2.  Stratford
3.  Kings Norton


  1. Yes please!!!! Just one Dragonfly will do,we'll pick it up in Gas St.,we won't tell anyone,promise.We're at Stretton now,just a mile short of Horninglow and no noise from the A38.Only the odd bit of ice this morning and wall to wall but just +4 and cold.great blog as always and nice pic's.
    Take care,
    Fred & Lisa xx

  2. Hi Jan

    We were talking to the lady who works in George's shop before it closed for the season and she was telling us about the problems. We've signed the petition and sent off an E-mail that will hopefully help in someway. Only -4 here last night (Audlem) a record low for us newbies though:-)