Sunday 13 May 2018


Today's Canal - Grand Union

We awoke to find that the rain which yesterday was forecast for today had actually all arrived overnight and we enjoyed a day of mainly blue skies and sunshine. At times it was unseasonably hot although out of shelter a cool breeze occasionally kept the temperature a little lower.

Just before ten o'clock we set off to walk to Radford Semele Church. Although it was barely 200m from the boat, after about 20 minutes we were still no closer - but on the other side! The routes took us in a large circular direction before we reached Church Land and a straight lane to the church itself.

Mike had walked up to look at the church when we passed this way last year but it was shut. Today there was a very pleasant short service aimed at families and children - but all ages seemed to enjoy it.

After the fire in 2008 a campaign to restore the building was successful in raising a significant amount of money. Fortunately the plan was most imaginative and avoided the trap of trying to create a pastiche of how it was previously. Instead, with most of the exterior intact but the inside totally gutted, they have created a wonderful slight and airy space. It was opened in 2013 when it was handed back to the local congregation to use and to look after.

We were certainly made very welcome and a number of people came to speak to us both before and after the service. There were around 40 people inclining around five children.

We stayed afterwards for a mug of coffee and biscuit - it was also a chance to admire many of the details in the restoration (which also left the church well provided with modern equipment and seating)

Several of the windows have been fitted with stained glass. We were told that the Millennium Window (the round one high above the main door) originally had a window made from small pieces of glass held together with strong bracing as well as leading. Modern technology has meant that the present day artist can construct an image in a single piece which needs no additional strengthening or support.

Back at the boat we had another drink followed by lunch - all in order to prevaricate about what to do for the rest of the day. When rain had been forecast we had reconciled ourselves to having a reading afternoon but with the the sun being so pleasant we simply could not waste it!

We set off again just before 2 o'clock with just a short run to the first lock at Radford where we could dispose of rubbish. Along this stretch there are no comprehensive services but several places where a subset can be found. Hence we have to make use of them as we find them.

A splendid long hedge of hawthorn blossom at its best.

At one of the Fosse Locks we were amused to see the sign alongside the ice cream invitation. In case you cannot read it, here is a close up:

We though that we might moor below the Bascote set of four locks (the top two form a staircase) but there was not really enough room - most of the pound before had extensive reeds at the edge.

So we pressed on and completed this short flight in around 32 minutes - not bad for two old codgers!

Just above the top lock we spotted this bright yellow wild rose doming very well indeed.

A short distance later we found a stretch with piling - so easy for mooring chains and not requiring pins to be hammered in - and hopefully a line to the satellite tv.

4.7 Miles - 10 Locks

1 comment:

  1. I really like the watery wibbly wobbly window. Looks like they have done a nice job at creating a new space within the old. Pip