The plan on Thursday was to have a walk around Wootton Wawen, go to the local boatyard for a pump out, fuel and water and then cruise down to Wilmcote where Mary Arden lived. The name Wootton Wawen conjures up a pretty little village in idyllic surroundings. Although it is still a village with some lovely buildings, the A34 cuts right through it.
On the way into the village is an impressive mill that has been converted into apartments; the building seemed large for the size of village. This is the mill stream re-joining the river.
The church (the oldest in Warwickshire) is also large for the size of village which tends to point to the fact that the guy who had it built (Wagen the Thane in 1035) was a relatively wealthy landowner. When walking round these places I always think of how frightened and persecuted the local people must have been to build such structures - all just so that the ‘owner’ could show off his assets.
On the way back we stopped at the boatyard to check they were open. They were, but unfortunately their pump out machine had broken. They asked if we could wait awhile as they were trying to fix it so we went home for lunch. I checked after an hour or so and it transpired that the transmission had died so we weren’t able to do all we wanted. We filled up with diesel and water which had to be done whilst we were half on the aqueduct over the A34!
We have really fallen in love with the Southern Stratford canal, it is more rural than the Ashby canal and has even fewer moored boats. In particular we are taken with the black and white iron and brick bridges.
The only downside we have come across are the muddy tow paths…
… but they don’t stop Buddy running off into the adjoining woodlands.
Sorry about Buddy being in a lot of pictures but the children love seeing him (rather than seeing parents of course!). Also, he uncannily seems to get into pictures even if he is not the subject.
Bearley lock was the only one we went through today.
The lock had a different design of a stanking plank store – the first we have seen made of iron.
We then went over the Edstone aqueduct which was quite an experience in the wind. Karen liked this picture because it looks like I'm standing to attention.
This shot shows that we were blown over to the left of the aqueduct trough all the way across as you would usually expect to keep about six inches clear of both sides all the way across a trough like this.
When I saw Karen in the field below the aqueduct taking pictures I thought that maybe the blog entry should be called ‘Flying in Warwickshire’ or something similar. It wasn’t until we were going through her pictures in the evening that we came across this one that really does look like the boat was flying.