The second week on the canals started with a perfect spring day, while going from one canal to an other.
We went from the Shropshire Union to Autherley junction where we turned on the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal and stayed overnight at Penkridge. The next day it just rained and rained and even more rain fell down on us. We came to Great Haywood Junction and stopped at a part of the Trent & Mersey Canal with a story to tell.
At Great Haywood you have the Shugborough Hall a 900 acres property once owned by a rich and arrogant family, now it is managed by the Staffordshire County Council. A beautiful place were the River Trent meets the River Sow and the canal winds around the both of them.
River Sow and the River Trent meeting point
The anson family, who owned the property, demolished an entire village so they could have more privacy while walking around in their private park. Yet they also build a new bridge so they didn’t need to walk as the old bridge was to narrow for a carriage. So the Shugborough village was no more and the people had to go. Yet the family had to go themselves when they no longer could stay and the property came in the hands of the National Trust.
a bridge too small
The nice thing about rain is the drops and their inner beauty, showing a macro world that you see when totally still. The colours of pebbles, stones even wood appear more bright than on a sunny day. In this area there are plenty of beautiful rounded river pebbles laying scattered around the canals hidden in the many woodlands.
the colours of the rain
The next day the Wanderlust turned at the Fradley Junction onto the Coventry canal
First she came to a certain halt for me to go into the Fradley Wood to collect and wander.The next day we stopped at the Hopwas Ways Woods a military firing range, where most of nature can do its own thing, the wood was full with wood anemones and yep, pebbles.
Just before the weekend we did the Atherstone flight of 11 locks, they went a lot better than the Audlem locks and the reverse trick sure works.
At Atherstone we set up our popUP gallery opposite of the old hat factory, which is an amazing building. It reveals, once again, the industrial history of the canals. The trees growing in and on the old building rounding of the contrast of culture and nature creating a gentle balance.
In the broken windows you can cloud gaze and see all kind of patterns. I see Italy in one and the next the day in the middle of town they had a brilliant Italian market with fantastic Sheep-cheese.
The weather was with us as spring continued her performance. We met some wonderful people on the towpath and surprised many with our art work, bringing art to places where you leased expect it.
land art corner
The next day we went along, not the nicest part of the Coventry canal, I will not show you any photos, not worth it. The funny thing, the day before I was talking to a Canal and River Trust volunteer, who was picking up litter. He told me since they have been picking litter they collect less and less litter, when something looks good people will be more likely to keep it clean. They should export that practise to Nuneaton.
turning into the Oxford canal
From the Coventry canal we turned into the Oxford Canal on a beautiful sunny day.
Along this canal we saw al sort of interesting collections and some people have been very creative to make a whole scenery, almost like in the movies. They made it all from rubbish or other throw aways. The scene goes along several boats my favourite is, what I called the water way wedding.
water way wedding
Somebody else has a whole collection of old cars in their back garden, waiting for some tender love and care.
One got the love you can’t see if the Vdub is a split screen as it has no screen anymore, therefor became the cat-screen.
spot the cat
As we went on we past Rugby and through the Newbold tunnel. A short tunnel so I had a change to take some photos of the inside of the tunnel, without blinding the skipper with the flash. As the skipper could focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have no idea what these amazing creations are and perhaps better not knowing of what they are made. The ‘topsigels’ look like miniature stalactites in a cave.
While I am writing this we are moored at Braunston at the Grand Union Canal, gathering our energy for the locks and the long tunnel. If it stays this brilliant spring weather than we stay here at do a popUP while enjoying the weather.
See you next week.