Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Saltisford (a little cruise is still a cruise)



Karen was still off work on Tuesday; I don’t think I’ve ever known her take time off work other than when her back’s been bad, so it must be serious
 
It was forecast to rain all day, but stopped at about 10.00, so Buddy and I cruised the few hundred yards to the Saltisford arm. We wanted to fill up with water before the weekend and, as we don’t particularly like mooring at Cape (the next water point), I thought a trip into the arm and then back to our current mooring would be the best thing to do.  In the end, I only reversed back to the junction as it's a nice sunny spot (when the sun comes out) and as it was fairly breezy I didn't fancy reversing back to where we had been moored below the bottom Hatton lock.

Moored at the junction with the Saltisford arm after getting water on Tuesday

The arm is run by the Saltisford Canal Trust rather than CRT so, after filling up, I popped down to their office and gave them a donation for the water.  The guy who runs the place is always friendly and very helpful.  A year ago, I fitted a new beefy padlock to the rear hatch and the first time I used it I left the keys indoors when Karen I went out for a walk.  There was nothing for it but to ring round for some bolt cutters; the guy at Saltisford said we could borrow his.  I must admit that walking along the towpath with large bolt cutters did make Karen and me feel a bit like we had criminal intent.

Water point is near the entrance to the arm – that’s us in the middle just before the bridge

Buddy doesn’t like me using the services here as there is only a short jetty and, as the front of the boat needs to be alongside the jetty, it means he cannot get off the rear deck to have a nose around.

In the picture above, the little house to the right of the jetty is the pump out house and was built in the 1980’s when the canal arm was restored.  Calling it an arm is not strictly correct as it was originally the Warwick end of the Warwick and Birmingham canal.  About half the arm is still in water but the other half was filled in during the 1970’s for housing and other developments.

The parapets of a bridge that went across the canal

The bridge above is about all that remains to show the arm used carry on into Warwick.  Interestingly, this bridge was never widened as part of the widening scheme around 1930 when all the single width locks had double width locks built next to them.   The wider locks allowed more boats through and also wider barges which meant the bridge holes had to be capable of taking 14’ wide barges.  The bridge at the entrance to the arm (two pictures up) was widened but that was as far as they went on this stretch.

OS map from 1887 (courtesy of Peter Perry who has lots of information on the history of Warwick)

The canal shown in blue on the map above is what was filled in during the 1970’s.  The bridge just below the railway bridge is the one where only the parapets remain.  The Antelope pub now sits where the canal terminated at the two wharfing arms.

Looking out to the Saltisford arm from our new mooring

In the afternoon, Buddy and I had a wander around Warwick.  I needed to get my phone repaired and, whilst I waited, I thought I’d have a good look around.  Every so often I came across something fascinating and went to take a picture, but of course I couldn’t; I use the camera on my phone and that was in the shop being repaired – oh well, another day then.

It started to rain again so Buddy and I got soaked but soon dried out once we were back on the boat.  By five o’clock the rain stopped and the sun tried to come out.  It was still fairly light at 5.30 which shows spring is not too far away now 😊


View from our new mooring at 5.30 in the evening - is spring in the air?






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