Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A walk NW of Rugby

More exploring today and possibly signs of an old canal.  The plan was to walk approximately 12 miles of local footpaths not currently shown on the Open Street Map.  The unrecorded sections would be captured on the Garmin gps for editing and then uploaded.

Footpaths planned to be recorded in red.  Canal shown in green.

I started in the bottom right corner of the map above and walked the towpath to the area.  At the end of the first section I’d walked around several fields of bright yellow rape arriving at a small collection of farm buildings containing agricultural machinery and a hay barn.  Outside was a most unusual farm tractor.

Hope it’s not used to “see-off” trespassing walkers!

This is the first Saracen armoured car I’ve physically seen.  I recall having a Dinky Toy model of one when I was a boy and I’ve seen photo’s of them.  But this was a ‘first’ for me!  First used in the Malayan Emergency back in the mid 50’s; they were purchased by a number of Commonwealth countries, including Australia, but not by New Zealand.  The Saracen was bought out of retirement by the British Army for use in Northern Ireland.  One assumes using tracked armoured vehicles was politically unacceptable.

Then I came upon this signpost which started me thinking.

A BW sign for a Canal Circular Route.  Adam (nb Briar Rose) had previously left a comment informing us that Brindley’s original canal route wandered all over the countryside following the contours of the land thereby minimising the need for major engineering work.  I thought this might be an extension of the Brownsover Arm.  Further along I came to a brick arch bridge of similar design to those across the canal.  Unfortunately the local farmer had used one side as a silage dump and the other was full of rubbish.  Consequentially it proved impossible to confirm whether the bridge hole ever included a towpath.  Moreover, whilst it was possible to see the alignment of the water course, it had all been filled in.

The last footpath took me to the SW end of Newbold tunnel and then followed the canal until crossing over another of those red brick canal bridges immediately east of the CRT water point at Newbold.  Out of the corner of my eye I mentally noted and recorded signs showing the Barley Mow and The Boat pubs.  No time for further investigation as time was running out and Waiouru was beckoning!

In the end I recorded almost of the planned footpaths and uploaded them to the OSM on my return.

It wasn’t a particularly strenuous walk and was done at a “wandering” pace. 


Anonymous said...


Would you believe I have actually driven one of those pigs during my army days. Not too bad really but very noisy. They used to be command vehicles.

You could get quite a lick of speed once the governors were sorted, sadly the wheels could not cope too well though. Their little brother was the ferret armoured car, powered by a rolls Royce ba60 engine, now they went like a rocket!

Tom and Jan said...

Now the NZ Army had the Ferret. But by the time I got to ride on one (not in - on the back) their engines were well worn out!

Adam said...

You should get yourself some Pearson's Canal Companion guides. They have the former course of the canal marked, and Mr Pearson is also very keen on abandoned railway lines and such like -- like the one that used to go over the viaduct at Rugby golf course.