Thursday 10 July

Before returning to Newbold to collect the bike frame, we had planned to add a coat of enamel paint to the boat but the undercoat wasn’t fully dry.  

We were amazed at how many dog walkers stopped by for a chat and it was some time before we could move off. We managed to wind in the entrance to Coventry Cruising Club and return to the outskirts of Rugby.  The Rugby Cement Factory can be seen for miles.

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We delayed our long walk to the powder coaters until after lunch as it was such a hot day.   This is the fourth time we have walked this route and Storm is convinced the route is getting shorter.  

The frame is now a gleaming white colour and Storm is looking forward to putting it together again.

Returning to the boat, we decided to make the most of the good weather and leave Rugby behind and move back out into open countryside so after winding again and filling up with water we moved back to Brinklow only to find that everyone else had had the same idea and we only just managed to find space to pull in before entering the shady cutting.

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Wednesday 9 July

We are still enjoying sunny weather and we decided to replace some of our missing paint. Another coat of undercoat was applied.

Many dog walkers, enjoying their regular tour of the common, would stop for a chat and make a fuss of Max and we were soon up to speed with the local gossip. The main topic of conversation concerned a high number of travellers who had thankfully moved onto open ground just the other side of the motorway rather than onto the common as they had done previously.  

Later on we visited the local shop and this meant we had to cross over the motorway footbridge and pass the gypsy encampment. We had to admit we were glad that they hadn’t camped on the common as the amount of rubbish already accumulating was disheartening.

In the evening we visited “The Boat”, a pub about half a mile from the canal and visitors may wonder at its choice of name. We discovered that when the pub was built it sat beside the canal but in the late 1820’s the Oxford Canal had become conspicuously out of date with its extravagant winding course and the company decided to modernise the northern part of the canal and undertook extensive engineering works to straighten the line of the canal thus reducing its length by 14 miles.   This pub was one of the casualties of that work in that the new line of the canal went nowhere near the pub.   It was a lovely popular pub and it was nice to see it had survived.

Tuesday 8 July

We needed to use the washing machine today and we left Newbold Upon Avon and travelled along the North Oxford Canal towards Coventry for four hours. This provided sufficient time for the batteries to recover afterwards.   We found a delightful mooring 11 miles north of Rugby at Sowe Common; a mooring where there is only room for one boat to moor and it is very quiet despite the M6 motorway being only a few yards away.   The motorway is in a cutting which muffles the traffic noise.

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Saturday 5 July

Having caught the bus into the centre of Rugby we headed to the Art Gallery & Museum where we spotted a posted advertising the 2014 Festival of Culture.

One of the events being held today was the Rugby Theatre Open Day. We popped in for coffee and cake and were invited to join the 2pm ‘behind the scenes’ tour.

We learnt that the theatre is home to an amateur dramatic group who produce 12 shows a year as well as running a regular film club. The theatre is run entirely by a number of very enthusiastic volunteers who all have a passion for some aspect of running the theatre from scenery design and construction, wardrobe and costume design, lighting, sound, stage management, front of house, bar, and promotion.   They also offer costumes and props for hire.

It appears that the Trustees own the various theatre buildings which straddle one of the shopping streets in Rugby and the building is open six days a week so volunteers can pop in and assist whenever they can spare time.

It was really heart warming to witness such a team spirit and the atmosphere there was far livelier than some professional producing houses.  A fun afternoon.

Friday 4 July

We woke at 6.30am (still on “Summer” time) but didn’t rush up this morning and instead enjoyed a lie in.

As the sun was shining and our engine bay is still dry after our repair to the stern tube, Storm decided to repaint the floor here and so I took Max for a long walk along the canal and round Newbold Quarry Park. The highlights of the walk were spotting a frog and a mouse on the path in front of us, both of which moved too fast to photograph.