We have done our flying visit to Coventry and Swan Lane and now we are moored up at Hawksbury Junction waiting for my daughter and fella to come visit.
The journey since that rain drenched Sunday has been gentle and plodding, the weather has
been a mixed bag to.
We completed the final 3 locks at Calcutt on Monday and spent the evening In the middle of nowhere, the bloody cat presented us with another little shrew. Strong words were had with him and his nose was flicked, hopefully this will
get the message through. Although the weather still wasn’t great on Tuesday we set off to Rugby and moored at a place called Hillmorton. On the way there we met a boat winding (trying to turn round for those who don’t know) and they were struggling.
The Captain offered advice which was taken and we tried to stop and help them. This shows how difficult it is just to stop a narrowboat and reverse, it’s not like a car. By the time we had managed to stop but not reverse they had got the idea and the
boat was turning.
Hillmorton, not a bad place to moor and the bus stop for Rugby was just off the towpath and of course there is a pub, The Old Royal Oak, a Harvester so the Captain knew there was little chance of a dark ale. So we gave it a try, pleasant.
We caught the bus into Rugby next day, looked round the Church which I must say was lovely, one of the most colourful churches I have been in. Some of the stones were a strange lilac colour but looked great and the main stain glass window was beautiful.
What made the church even more colourful was a display of vestments (the robes and stoles that priests wear) of all different and usually very rich colours. Well worth a visit.
We called at the Webb Ellis museum this was the guy who reportedly invented
the game of Rugby in the 19C. It is set in a building which was used originally to make the rugby balls and explains the history of Rugby Union and why Rugby League was born up north. Something I didn’t know (good quiz fact). It also explained how the
balls were made going right back to when it was leather and a pigs bladder right up to now and the synthetic materials used but the basic manufacturing procedure remains the same. Interesting.
A quick walk round the famous Rugby School and off to try
the first pub of the day The Lawrence Sheriff (a Wetherspoons), very disappointing. They had Hobgoblin as a coming soon but the barmaid couldn’t say how long it would be, so we ordered and paid for Doombar but was then told sorry no Doombar, why they
leave the pump clip facing the customers when its gone I just don’t know and it’s not the first time. So the Captain had to make do with the darkest bitter they had on. When we had been sat a while it suddenly dawned on me that the beer he had
ended up with was 50p cheaper than the Doombar he had wanted, ok I know it’s only 50p but it’s the principle so back to the bar I went and eventually got a refund.
As you can guess we didn’t stay for a second and after a walk round
Rugby, it has some old and interesting building we happened on the second Wetherspoons, the Rupert Brooke, slightly better service than the Sheriff but still a disappointing choice. Only one again and the Captain was now on a mission to find something dark
but it was not to be. We ended up in a tiny old pub called the Squirrel but the Captain had to settle for Guinness. I did like Rugby and we will be returning at some point.
I will quickly mention there is a Tesco right on the towpath at Brownsover and
that the Barley Mow at Newbold on Avon has a dart board were the Captain resoundingly beat me. We did call at the Church at Newbold, a beautifully kept churchyard but unfortunately and a sign of the times the church was locked. We went through the Newbold
tunnel next day 250yds long and unusual for the fact it has a towpath both sides and on to Ansty were we met up with our single hander friend John (we came out of Leicester with him). We tried the pub The Rose and Castle, small inside but large garden
going down to the canal, nice.
And Sunday saw us back in Coventry, we called in at Swan Lane on our way down to the basin to check the post and see if Keith was about, then on to the basin, moored up and a walk into the city. We called at the Roadhouse
never been in before and they had a dark ruby on from Lion Heart Brewery. It would have been ok but the first half was first out the pipe since it had been cleaned and it tasted terrible. The barmaid was very apologetic and pulled a couple of pints through
before replacing our original halves. Still wasn’t the best. The brewery is based in Coventry and has its own tap so we will give that a try at some point.
Then on to our favourite pub, the Windmill on Spon Street, I know I have mentioned it before
but it never fails to deliver. Today’s offerings were Hobgoblin, Old Peculiar and Old Slug Porter from RCH brewery. The Old Slug was lovely and we sat in a little room, a bit like a railway carriage listening to a folk song jamming session. Second pint
and the Captain changed to Old Peculiar well that’s until I had a taste and we ended swopping pints, I found the OP a very creamy taste and he was happier with the Slug porter.
I treated us to tea at my favourite Wetherpoons in Coventry, The Earl
of Mercia, now here is something I haven’t seen before, normally on a Sunday its Sunday lunch club but here they had Steak Club (usually Tuesdays) on instead, great just fancied a steak it was mmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Then things started getting silly and
the Captain couldn’t pass The Flying Standard without going in (its kind of on the way back to the boat). I had had enough beer so as a treat I had Jamesons and coke, lovely but then I had to have another as the Captain still had half a pint left. Silly
season like I said.
We have spent a couple of days in Swan Lane itself, done a big shop, a bit of spring cleaning and engine maintence. We were pleased to see that improvements are being made to the facilities but didn’t manage to catch up with
Keith (did see Alan though) and we didn’t nip to the Bricklayers, very strange for us I know, turning over a new leaf, I don’t think so.
Tomorrow, well then we continue on our trip down south calling at Milton Keynes and then into London.
Watch this space folks.