About Me

My photo
70 now and our five wonderful years aboard our narrowboat Skyy seem along time ago. Jacquie, allowed me to build my replica three wheeler kit car, which was a great success. Now it's time to start on a bigger project and that is to make a good Triumph Stag even better, here goes.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011



We arrived at Hawkesbury Junction in time for a Sunday afternoon drink at the Greyhound Pub, it really was too cold to sit outside and fortunately the staff didn’t have a problem with Duggie taking his place under one of the tables inside. Although we have passed it several times this was our first visit and we found it full of character and characters, we will stop here again.

Well in fact nobody sent us, it was our decision to revisit Coventry, We weren’t overly impressed last time except by a quick visit to the excellent Museum of British Road Transport, but at least it wasn’t pouring with rain when we arrived as it was last time. On the way we passed many sculptures, including the concrete sofa and the large wooden bollard and rope.

Most of the old factories have been cleared away, but an exception is the elegant row of Cash’s Hundred Houses, in fact slightly less than half this number was built and only 37 remain. The ground and first floor were designed as homes for the workers and the powered looms for making the famous name tapes were on the top floor, now all of the floors are lived in. The original electricity power station that provided the energy for all the cycles, motorcycles and car manufacturers that were based in Coventry still stands and has also been converted into homes, but with less elegance.

This time Jacquie accompanied me to the Transport museum and enjoyed it as much as I did. It is amazing to see just how many car manufactures were bas here and the enormous boom between 1950 and 1970, but by 1980 only four makes of car were still produced and now there are none.

The town centre is depressing; the 1950’s rebuild to my mind hasn’t stood the test of time, but surprisingly around the new Cathedral some of the old houses were painstaking rebuilt after the war. We didn’t go into the Cathedral as we intend to return here next week with some chums and wanted to save it for then.

On Tuesday we left the attractive Coventry Basin under the little bridge that in olden days was barred at night with no boat being allowed to stay in the basin, but we had had a very peaceful night. A couple of hours later we had retraced our way and had re-moored at Hawkesbury.



The weather for the rest of the week was a mixture of heavy rain and grey skies, so we did indeed take our time and also we had been this way so many times before that we had seen it all and I didn’t bother to fine the camera.

We moved onto Hillmorton on Wednesday and fortunately both locks were in use and there was no queue. We moored immediately below the locks and stayed overnight, the next morning we walked five miles in the sunshine to and from the retail park in Rugby for essentials supplies and a coffee at Frankie and Benny’s, but the next day, Thursday, it was raining again. We walked a soggy Duggie though the fields containing the array of radio masts. It all looked quiet derelict and on our return we googled it and found that the last four of the original twelve, much bigger towers were felled in 2007. They had been constructed in 1926 for the GPO for its world wide radio telegraph service and during the last war until recently, it is said that the system was used to keep in touch with the UK’s submarines. Now even the Atomic clock broadcast has been moved to Scotland and a sign on a post was giving notice of a planning application for 6,200 dwellings and soon, I imagine the remaining lattice towers will also disappear.

On Friday we moved the short distance to Rugby and moored close by Tescos for a bigger shop and there we stayed, but no sooner had we got going on Saturday and the heavens opened again, good for the canals, but I had had enough rain dripping down the back of my neck, so stopped for lunch just before Brinklow and stayed the rest of the day.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011



At last we are back on SKYY and on the move again, we didn’t get very far, only from Wigrams Turn Marina to the outskirts of Braunston. We stopped for lunch with every intention of moving on, but our new neighbours were very friendly and lunch got delayed and as it was a lovely day we stayed put.

The last couple of months have been mostly spent in Europe, staying with friends in Bavaria and the South of France. I keep my old Moto Guzzi motorbike in France and it was good to have the opportunity to get my leg over my faithful Italian belladonna.
I missed out riding her last September as my heart event rather got in the way, but I more than made up for it this time with a couple of trips into Italy with my biking chum.

One of the trips was to Carrara which has supplied much of the world for hundreds of years with top quality marble, the block that Michelangelo used to carve his famous David came from here and more recent sculptors such as Henry Moore always came here to select their marble. Before we rode up to the mountain to visit the quarries and the caves we wandered through the town and were very impressed by this full size sculpture of a 1950 Cadillac in the town square, it is, amazing, exact to the smallest details.

During the last week on Skyy I replaced the Perspex to the side hatch; the new piece rests on the outside of the frame and now if it rain we don’t have to rush to remove it and close the doors as the rain just runs off. Also, at last, I got the replacement twin hooters, that we bought from Puffer Parts on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, working, I fixed them to the roof to the left hand side of the rear hatch and wired them directly to the switch, WOW! What a sound, brilliant!! I wonder how long before somebody complains that they are too noisy. The forecast is rain for Tuesday so I imagine that we won’t be progressing very far, but we have a couple of months cruising ahead of us, so no hurry.