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The 1978 Canal Holiday

This was Linda's second canal holiday and her first in a narrowboat. The boat was a 32ft cruiser stern from Upton Narrowboats. The route from Upton was North up the Severn to Stourport. All Staffs and Worcs Canal to Great Hayward Junction. Trent and Mersey Canal to Fradley Junction. Coventry Canal to Hawkesbury Junction, Northern Oxford to Braunston. Joint Oxford / Grand Union Canal to Napton Junction. Grand Union Canal to Lapworth. Southern Stratford Canal to Stratford upon Avon. Upper and Lower Avon. Finally River Severn back to Upton. 

Saturday 2nd September - We left home at 10.30 and arrived at Upton at 15.00. We were soon off up the River Severn to Worcester. We moored up on the river by the cathedral at 20.00. (We still moor there, although it is now not fashionable.) That night we went out the Schooner Inn by the bridge (presumably this became a Beefeater - can't remember what it was called.)

Sunday 3rd September - Worcester to Stourport on the Severn and then Staff and Worcs Canal to Kinver. We went to the Lock pub at Wolverley Lock for lunch. That night we tried to find a pub in Kinver doing food, but there was not any. Went back to boat and ate on board.

Monday 4th September - Kinver to Compton. Disaster struck at Bratch locks. We were first in the lock and sharing (rather tight). We were shoved under leaking gate and got carpet soaked. Fortunately this was lose fitted and we were able to eventually dry it out. That night we had another fruitless search for pub food, so went back to boat to eat.

Tuesday 5th September - Compton straight through non-stop to past Hayward Junction on the Trent and Mersey Canal. We stopped on in the middle of nowhere above Rugeley. Poured with rain all afternoon, evening and night. To bedraggled to find pub. Ate on boat. Fortunately the carpet was now just about dry. 

Wednesday 6th September -  We turned onto the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction and got to Polesworth that night. We did a bit of shopping at Handsacre in the morning. That night we had fish and chips and then went to the pub. This we seem to remember was the Royal Oak.

Thursday 7th September - Polesworth to Newbold on the Northern Oxford. We were held up on the Atherstone due to some very dry pounds (this is not the only time this has happened here!) Finally up Atherstone by 12.00. Stopped here for water and a quick shopping stop. Had a Vesta Chow Mien on the boat in the evening and then went to the Boat pub.

Friday 8th September - Newbold to Bottom of Fosse Locks on the Grand Union. Very sunny all day but very blustery. Not much traffic. We did not share any Grand Union Locks. Curried Eggs for dinner. 

Saturday 9th September - Went through Leamington in the morning and stopped at Warwick at lunch time. Had Chinese takeaway for lunch and did stop of shopping. Went up Hatton Flight in the afternoon. No one about. Stopped at top of Hatton and walked back to what is now the Waterman pub, can't remember if it was called this then. Pint and basket meal in the pub. 

Sunday 10th September - Carried on up Grand Union to Lapworth, then swapped over to Southern Stratford at 9.30. Paid National Trust Toll and carried on down the assemble your self remains of the Southern Stratford. This was at one of the lowest ebbs for the Southern Stratford. It had an overgrown rustic charm then. Wilmcote pound was down, but we rattled along OK. No traffic. Arrived to near deserted Bancroft basin, but moored as usual on the Avon. Went to pub in evening and had yet another chicken in a basket.

Monday 11th September - Spent day in Stratford upon Avon. bought tickets for "loves labours lost" at RSC that evening. Apparently we had a lovely meal at the Trophy Inn (sounds like a Whitbread Establishment - probably a Beefeater now) Linda really enjoyed the play, Neil never did work out what it was all about!

Tuesday 12th September - Left Stratford at 10.30. Stopped for pumpout on Avon (probably at Bidford Boats) and got to Pershore in the evening. The Avon was going it a bit as it had been raining a fair bit. Got caught for Upper Avon licence at Evesham Lock. Went out to pub and had bar meal in the evening. 

Wednesday 13th September - Went shopping in Pershore in the morning, then left for Tewkesbury. Stopped in Mill Avon moorings. On the way we passed Neil's parents, aunt and family friend "Poppy". They also had a boat out at this time to check up on us! That night went to Chinese Restaurant in Tewkesbury and then to pub. 

Thursday 13th September - Went out onto Severn, paying Lower Avon toll as we passed through Avon Lock. Got to Upton for ploughman's lunch in pub. Carried on to Worcester and went shopping and then out to Schooner Inn again in the evening. 

Friday 14th September - Left Worcester late and ambled down to Upton and went to other pub. We were going to stay here all night, but it got noisy, so at 19.00 we moved across into the boatyard and had candle lit meal with wine on the boat. 

Saturday 15th September - left boatyard at 9.00 and home at 11.10. We got deposit back this time!

Entrance Locks to Diglis Basin,  start of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Worcester Cathedral in the distance. Our favourite mooring are in the far distance, in front of the Cathedral. You have to be prepared to use gang plank off the roof and moor to trees. River Severn.

Holt Fleet Bridge.  Holt Lock in the distance. River Severn.

Falling Sands Lock. Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Bratch Locks. The Snowcem era is beginning to get tatty! Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Fradley Junction. We have just turned onto the Coventry Canal from the Trent and Mersey Canal. Carpets drying out after our near sinking!

Atherstone Flight. Coventry Canal.

Hawkesbury Junction. We have just come off the Coventry Canal. Northern Oxford Canal.

Hawkesbury / Coventry Power Station. It was at this time disused and would not last many more years. Northern Oxford Canal.

Hillmorton Locks. Northern Oxford Canal.

Stockton Flight Lock No 12. This will be the Warwickshire Fly Boat Company. Grand Union Canal.

Going up Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

Looking back down Hatton Flight. Grand Union Canal.

We have just turned onto the Southern Stratford Canal. Lock No 22. National Trust territory then.

Southern Stratford Canal.

We traverse the Southern Stratford Canal, probably at it's all time low. The paddle by Linda slipped badly and had no ratchet - hence the lumps of wood! The vegetation takes over.

Edstone Aqueduct. Southern Stratford Canal.

Edstone Aqueduct. Southern Stratford Canal.

Stratford upon Avon. Bancroft Basin from across the river. Rather a lot of mooring space,  but we always prefer to moor on the river. Upper Avon. Warwickshire River Avon.

Stratford upon Avon. Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Upper Avon. Warwickshire River Avon.

The lock keepers house at Evesham Lock. Upper Avon. Warwickshire River Avon.

Goblin in Wyre Lock. After the Peak Forest narrowboat the year before, we never went back to cruisers. Lower Avon. Warwickshire River Avon.

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