Sunday 22 June

We set off early for Coventry but not quite early enough! We’d just passed under the bridge before Stoke Heath Basin when we heard a blast from a steam horn and with that a bow shot out of the basin ahead of us and we had to Blackbird quickly into reverse to avoid a collision. That boat was closely followed by two further steamboats.

They all turned towards Coventry and we set off to follow them.  As we passed the entrance to the basin there was another boat waiting to exit the basin and we found ourselves unwittingly in the midst of a procession of about ten historical steamboats.

We pulled over as soon as we could to let them pass. After we’d moored up we joined a small number of pedestrians who’d turned out to see what was going on. A media photographer commented that the Coventry Canal Association should perhaps have publicised the event better to attract a larger audience.

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Having walked round the basin to view the boats close up, and their highly polished copper, we went off into Coventry City; Storm to the Transport Museum and me to do some window shopping.

We met up again a while later in the café of the Museum for “God Cakes and Coffee”. The cakes are a local speciality and we’re not sure whether they owe their name to Lady Godiva or some other icon.

We then headed off to IKEA that is right in the city centre.   We couldn’t resist spending but we did show real restraint.

By the time we got back to the basin there was no sign of the festival boats and all was quiet.

We enjoyed a drink that evening in The Old Windmill, a lovely tudor building with lots of little rooms with many nooks and crannies, watched by the pub cat.

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