Good old internet & I found a place about 50 yards from Hawkesbury Jn where they actually make bolts & where they had some of the size needed. I rang Ashby Boats & they said they could weld the bracket, so all will be well soon.
On the way out of Coventry we stopped to reprovision for guests, and gathered a lovely bit of rag on the prop! We cruised on till 6, not having started very early with the problems, stopping by bridge 13 on the Ashby. Slight drizzle during the afternoon but a good mooring.
Tuesday 14th and a dull start & rain during day. Friends coming for lunch & tea so stopped at The Lime Kiln. 5 boats moored on the 48 hr moorings, I noted the numbers as it will be interesting to see if they are still there on our return.
Pleasant day & good food & cards before they left us at 5.30 & we cruised on a bit to tie up before bridge 22.
Wednesday 15th and dull with some rain and windy too. We had more guests arriving from Scotland & we arranged to meet them at Sutton Cheney. On way there got alternator bracket welded in Stoke Golding and tied up3/400yds before the wharf, and a good job too as there was nothing nearer. Emma & Karen arrived around 3 & stayed the night, more catering by Carol.
Thursday 16th a day of mixed weather, but above all a cold wind. We took our guests for a bit of a cruise to Shenton embankment where the winding hole was very silted up before returning them to their car before they set off to Oxford. We then cruised on to bridge 51 and rang friends who live nearby in Market Bosworth who came for a drink & a nibble at some shortbread & flapjack Carol had made. On the way we passed Cyril Blackford on Venone who told us they were opening a new bit of the canal on Friday, were we coming. Well we weren't before, but soon did!
Friday 17th and the navigable Ashby is now 100metres longer!
A lovely bright day, mostly sunny but a biting wind, arriving at Snarestone in good time to polish the brasses before the 2.30 opening. We were delighted to see that our IWA National Chairman, Clive Henderson, had been invited & I got a shock when he remembered me from our 2000 Harborough Festival......I must have misbehaved terribly! We both got another shock when off the official boat stepped the County Council Chairman, who used to be married to my cousin.
We moored alongside the farm there, the weather was warmer and quite pleasant, and in the farm yard was a tractor/tilling combination. Sorry, I should have snapped it, but it was quite the biggest tractor I have ever seen with twinned rear wheels & large powered front wheels & articulated in the middle. The tool it was hitched to was at least 30 feet long with discs and tynes and wheels. I spoke about it to one of the lads on the farm. The tool was converting freshly harvested grain fields into a planted oil seed rape field in one pass! Incredible, and the tractor, when working hard, will use 800 litres of diesel a day!
It rained later but we had a pleasant day catching up on things.
Sunday 19th and a reasonable day of weather. We cruised to Sutton Cheney ready to pick up the friends due on Monday, he is not very mobile so we needed a good mooring. On our way there we stopped at Market Bosworth wharf so we could get some provisions. It is a pretty little market town, well worth a wander up the hill to get there. Alongside the wharf is the Battlebridge Line station.
So a week of no locks and not a lot of cruising but a lot of socialising, lovely except that the canal is shallow. On several occasions we went aground just passing out-growing trees from the off-side, and this was with the canal right up to the weir height.