Friday, 10 October 2014

Hats off to Atherstone

Thursday morning and the weather was still threatning rain and wind. We set off towards Atherstone with our fingers crossed but it did no good. The showers continued all the way until we moored above the locks, when, like a miracle, the sun came out.
Atherstone is an important shopping stop and we took advantage of the Aldi store to restock Oakapple after letting things run down ready for our visit home.
It was sad to see the state of the old hat factory  with its broken windows. When we first started boating we used to hire from Valley Cruises, which were based in Atherstone. It was great to see the factory in operation, with the women workers waving out of the windows at the passing boats. A shame to see the demise of an industry which had been there since Victorian times.

Today was a great improvement with bright sunshine for our trip down the eleven locks. There were quite a few passing boats and we managed to exchange greetings with several fellow bloggers and readers. Amongst them NB swamp Frogs and NB Waiouru, whose trials and tribulations we have followed  from the begining.
The sunshine continued through Polesworth and we moored oposite the Samual Barlow pub at Alvecote. Taking advantage of the continuing sunshine we explored the ruins of Alvecote Priory, which was founded by William Burdett as a penance for stabbing his wife for being unfaithful while he was away on a crusade in 1159. We then continued our walk through the woods which are slowly reclaiming the site of Pooley Hall Colliery. Climbing to the top of the old spoil heap we were rewarded with some stunning views over the surounding countryside. We just managed to return to Oakapple before the showers arrived, giving us some quite startling rainbows.

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