Saturday 21 June

This morning we left the Ashby Canal after a week of fine weather cruising. It was busy at the junction as we turned left towards Coventry – there was a boat wishing to turn into the Ashby, another boat behind that impatient to be carrying straight on but blocking our way forward and a boat immediately behind us and we had to wait a minute for a space to move in to. We’ve never seen the canals with so much moving traffic on them as this year.

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We ambled past the chaotic but characterful “Charity Dockyard” at Bedworth. The site frontage is quite long and has all manner of stuff that will no doubt ‘come in useful one day’ and mannequins have been used to artistic and comic effect bringing a wry smile to the faces of people floating by.   There are boats moored, most of them in various stages of decay with no sign of restoration. The boatyard advertises that the dry dock is available for hire but it is unclear how you would get into it without a massive logistical boat move as there are about 8 boats all breasted up immediately in front of the doors. The first time we passed we hadn’t even noticed the dry dock beyond!

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As we approached Hawkesbury, towpath gossip warned of a steamboat festival being held at the wharf ahead and the CRT website implied this was a two day festival between Hawkesbury and Coventry Canal Basin.

As we’d planned to continue on to Coventry we moored up at Hawkesbury and decided to postpone our trip as moorings in the basin itself are limited and we imagined there would be boats breasted up with plenty of sightseers.

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Whilst letting our lunch settle five small steamboats ploughed past us and that was the only activity we saw all afternoon apart from a mass of people outside the pub enjoying the sunshine.   Sadly, the festival appeared to be a bit of a non-event

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