The weather is pleasant, the canals are nearby, and I have a brand new pedometer to try!
I’m waiting for the bus to take me to Hawkesbury Junction, where the Oxford and Coventry canals meet. I will then head towards Coventry Basin, hopefully getting all the way, depending on what the weather is like.
Now on the bus! After I get off, should take me about 10 mins to get there.
Along the canal, I’ll try and photograph as much of the Coventry Canal Art Trail as possible. If you’re interested in learning more about the art, there is this website:
If anyone wants to post any questions or comments, please do so. If anything, it will help me know that I’m not the only one mad enough to be awake at this time on a Sunday morning! I will try and respond as I go.
This is the engine house (built in 1821), which contained the pump for the canal. Prior to being moved here, it had been pumping water from Griff Colliery for 100 years. It was replaced in 1837 by an engine named the Lady Godiva, and pumped water from the nearby mines into the canal, until it was decommissioned in 1913. In 1963 it was moved to Dartmouth Museum where it resides to this day.
The lock that connects Oxford Canal to Coventry Canal is only about a 6 inch drop.
Last year, during lockdown, the trust completely repaved it and then this summer added shingle. Should mean that I can now walk it of an evening during winter without fear of tripping on unseen potholes!
Just past bridge 9a, and you can just see the top of the Arena stadium (white struts in second pic, just above roofline). Now the Coventry Building Society Arena, it was originally the Ricoh Arena when first built as they were the sponsors.
If you need to empty the canal for repair work, it wastes a lot of water if you need to use lock gates as barriers, as there can be many miles between locks. The closest one to Coventry, as the one at Hawkesbury wouldn’t work, is in Atherstone. So a stretch of 30 miles or so would need to be drained.
So instead they drop thick planks of wood down the slots. They swell in the water to provide a seal, allowing the water to be drained in a short section; it’s about a kilometer between bridges 9 and 8. A sluice gate can then be opened to drain the water into a culvert or stream. Here’s the one between 9 and 8, which also serves as an overflow in case of excess water from rain.