The morning was misty and muggy as we left the security of the Ashby Canal. We soon passed the very attractive Hawksbury Junction, where the Oxford Canal departed to the left, under the beautiful arch of the cast iron bridge which framed the Greyhound Pub and to complete the picture there was a classically designed pump house on the other side of the canal.
We continued the journey towards Coventry, passing a very strange boatyard, well actually more a junkyard, but enhanced by some very strangely posed mannequins.
The surroundings gradually became just functioning and derelict factories, but Coventry Council had worked hard to turn the canal into a ‘Greenway’ with interesting sculptures and information boards, to make the towpath and canal a safe and interesting place for all users.
Our final arrival into Coventry Basin was accompanied by soaking rain, but what a grand final arrival it was. Entry was through a tiny red brick bridge hole, originally designed for security reasons, but the basin immediately opened out as the canal branched into two arms, surrounded by old, but restored wharfs and more recent, but attractive buildings.
A statue of James Brindley dominated the basin and actually spent all the time we were moored there, staring in through our window.
However the city centre was disappointing, I know that it was virtually destroyed in 1940. but sadly the 1950’s designed rebuilding hasn’t stood the test of time. The new cathedral is impressive, but it’s spire, which is totally uninspiring was lifted into place by a helicopter. It is so spindly it looks as if one burly builder could have carried it up on his back, no wonder that it is known locally as Radio Coventry. A mini fun fare was operating, just to one side of the cathedral and a stage and sound system for a concert was being set up in side the old cathedral and this apparant lack of respect for the area, completed our disappointment of Coventry.