1983 – Guillemot

I have very sketchy memories of this one and my photos have not yet come to light, please help. There are, however, some photos from Mike.

It was an attempt to do the “Leicester Ring” from Rugby on  Willow Wren’s Guillemot.  We had to turn round at Alrewas due to flooding on the River Trent and returned to Rugby via Wolverhampton, where a partial crew change took place at the end of the first week. We continued via Braunston and the Leicester Section, turning after Foxton Locks at Blaby because the Soar was now  in flood.   We also did the Welford Arm and had to reverse halfway back in order to wind as there was no full-length winding hole at the end.

Dates:  23rd April to  7th May 1983

Crew –  Peter Cash, Jim Davies,  Mark Doran,  David Evans, Ken Harrop, Lily Hopkins, Colin Kennington, Phil Pearson, Mike Piet, Duncan Roberts, Bob Telfer, Margaret Worthington. (This is the second week’s crew. There may have been different people aboard the previous week). Kris and Bernard joined us for the last evening in Rugby.

RouteWeek One: From Rugby via the Oxford and Coventry Canals to Fradley Junction and the Trent & Mersey to Alrewas. Turned at Alrewas and back to Fradley, then on to Great Haywood and Staffs & Worcester to Aldersley Junction, and Wolverhampton.

Week two: Wolverhampton, Tipton, Old Main Line to Birmingham, Worcester & Birmingham to King’s Norton, Northern Stratford, Lapworth, Grand Union, Braunston, Norton Junction, Blaby (turn round), Norton Junction, Braunston and back to Rugby.

Stopping Places –  In the second week we stopped at:

Sat 30th April:   Black Country Museum (and walked to “The Park Inn” , Woodsetton: a Holden’s pub.)

Sun 1st May: Wharf Tavern, Hockley Heath

Mon 2nd:  Top of Stockton Locks and walk to The Crown

Tue 3rd:  North Kilworth, White Lion  (Marston’s)

Wed 4th:  Blaby.  First to “a poor pub” and then to “a Shipstone’s pub”, which might have been the Black Horse.

Thu 5th: Welford (The Shoulder of Mutton and The Swan)

Fri 6th:  Somewhere between Hillmorton and Rugby and bus into Rugby (walk back)

Given that this is one of the latest trips I find it strange I can remember so little about it: perhaps it was all becoming routine by then!

Mike’s Diary Notes for Week Two:

Canal Trip 1983 (Wolverhampton to Rugby) Guillemot from Rugby
Saturday 30 April Mike & Lily pick up Ken at Wigan & drive to Wolverhampton via A50 because of M6 crash. 13.00 at Wolves. Drop people off & drive to Rugby. Taxi to station & wait for train to Brum & Wolves. Miss boat by 10 mins & run to catch up. Pleasant evening. Stop at Dudley Tunnel & walk to Holden’s ‘Park PH’. Back to bed but do not sleep well.
Sunday 1 May Up at 7.00 & away on old & new main lines to pump out at Ouzell Street. Water fill up. Some rain. Edgbaston & North Stratford leaving Dai messages. Pour off water and refill. Dai & map fishing (don’t know what this refers to!). Stop on poor towpath at Hockley Heath. Pub ‘……………….’ with flooded cellar but we do not drink it dry.
Monday 2 May Start in drizzle but day gets better. Straight down Lapworth Locks. To Hatton – do flight in 1 hour 22 mins. Up to top of Stockton Locks – 62 in one day. Vegetable lasagne. Walk up to ‘Crown’ in village & stay to 23.30.
Tuesday 3 May 7.30 start & Calcutt. Steer first part of Oxford Canal. Shop in Braunston. Help Mikron Theatre up locks breasted up. Through tunnel & round Norton Junction up GU to N Kilworth. ‘White Lion’ Marstons.
Wednesday 4 May Early start again & to Foxton Staircase. Pleasant weather descending through nice countryside. Long jog between locks. Moor at Blaby. Tea & walk to Soar and back on old GC railway & road to village – first to poor pub & then better Shipstones.
Thursday 5 May Later up & away back to Foxton shopping. Down Welford Arm for evening. Good weather again. Up to reservoir & round village. Into ‘Shoulder of Mutton’ and ‘Swan’.
Friday 6 May Sunshine again. Very pleasant but bit of wind. Crick Tunnel. Sit in sunshine. Keys & crowds at Braunston. Set off to jog but poor path – gets better so set off again. Miss Colin falling in. Quiche & then drink in Rugby – walk back early via hamburger bar.
Saturday 7 May Duncan stopped from setting off too early. Sunshine. Unload kit & do crew delivery to station. Back to pick up Ken & Lily and via Lichfield to Blackpool at 14.30.

Mike Piet, Lily Hopkins, Ken Harrop, Duncan Roberts, Jim Davies, Dai Evans, Bob Telfer, Colin Kennington, Phil Pearson, Peter Cash, Margaret Worthington, Mark Doran

Notes: Was there another crew which dropped the boat off at Wolverhampton? Like Jim, I don’t recall this trip at all!

Mike’s photos are on this Flickr link


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