Stoke Golding to Braunston via Birmingham
Saturday 2nd July
So finally the waiting was over. With a few finishing touches, Cliff was ready to give us custody of Phoenix III. We pulled her out of the polytunnel that had been her home for the month of June, started the engine and turned her around ready for the start of her journey back to Braunston.
As I left the marina on the water, painter Cliff and carpenter Rick drove out in Cliff’s jeep with Sue taking the car back to Hinckley. I next saw Cliff as I passed through Stoke Golding wharf, home of the Ashby boat company. He sat in his jeep with a beaming smile, as proud as punch of his latest creation.
An hour later and I was pulling in at our old home, the Trinity marina. Sue of course was already there waiting for me with a cold pint of Stella Artois. After dieseling up and buying some gas we were on our way and we cracked open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. We made a short stop for water just after the Limekilns bridge and then we were really underway with our holiday. We made the most of the summer weather as we laughed and joked our way along the Coventry canal through Nuneaton before tying up opposite Springwood Haven marina.
Sunday 3rd July
We were both awake by 6.30 so after our customary cup of tea, we got up, untied and headed off in the direction of Atherstone. The journey from Springwood Haven to Atherstone only takes an hour so just after half past eight we found ourselves in the top lock, the first of eleven on the Atherstone flight. We didn’t encounter enough boats coming up to make the descent easy but by midday we had reached the bottom of the hill. From there on in it was a pleasant cruise through Polesworth and on to Alvecote where we tied up opposite the Samuel Barlow pub.