The Barge & Bridge pub in Atherstone is still standing but has been closed for some years now and so we visited The Maid of the Mill last night and got a friendly welcome from one of the regulars who was here when we last visited in July last year (not that he remembered us!).
This morning after a bowl of porridge we moved off to the top of Atherstone locks and filled up with water again before heading down the flight of 11 locks. There was some confusion amongst the four volunteer lock-keepers whether there was a boat coming up the flight at Lock 4 as the bottom gates of locks 2 and 3 had been left open.
A quick jog down the towpath by me to check what was confirmed that there was no-one coming up and so bottom gates were closed and top paddles opened and we continued our descent of the locks.
As we left Lock 6, we met the fuel boat waiting for us to vacate the lock and bought some coal from him. After that there was a steady stream of boats heading towards us and so we passed quickly through the remaining five locks.
At Lock 10, there was a tree on the lockside laden with plums and we now have a crumble cooking.
Black clouds hovered overhead at lunch-time but it didn’t rain although there was a strange hue to the light quality for the rest of the afternoon, something like you see when there is a solar eclipse. There was certainly no sign of the sunshine we were hoping for.
We continued on to Polesworth where we moored up for the night. We’re still in Warwickshire at the moment although we’ll pass into Staffordshire tomorrow.