Friday, 17 October 2014

To Coventry Basin

A number of boats passed us early this morning and by twitching the curtains it was possible to identify them as probable live-aboards doing a 14 day shuffle. The morning was looking very promising and Jan suggested we move whilst the sun was wearing its hat.  Time to leave Hawkesbury Junction!  Nothing on the exterior of the old pump house suggests anything has happened in the way of restoration since we were last this way.

Attempting to find more information about the engine pump house I read it was built to drain the local collieries and the water was emptied into the canal.  However two sources stated it was built to provide water for the canal with a 100 year old engine being installed in 1821.  The engine came from one of the local collieries and was named “Lady Godiva”.  The pump extracted water from an underground stream.  However this water source eventually proved inadequate and a deeper shaft had to be dug in 1937.  This required a second and more powerful pump.  In 1913 the water table dropped further and the pump house fell into disuse.  The second pump was scrapped during WW2. “Lady Godiva” remained in place until 1963 when it was moved to Dartmouth, the birthplace of Thomas Newcomen (designer of the pump), as the centrepiece of a memorial museum.

Looking back.  Pity about the cable in the foreground and the high transmission pylons in the background.  Abracadabra

That looks much better! Smile

The canal to Coventry Basin is mostly good cruising however there are a few places that need the attention of a dredger.  We decided not to stop at the Tesco adjacent to the Ricoh Arena.  Something we might do on the way back.  The water point is located just prior to the basin and one boater appears to have scored the best mooring in the area.

Can’t do much better than bollards and your personal tap.

Actually it’s not quite as bad as the photo suggests.  There is a second tap with room for one boat to moor.  On entering the basin we discovered there were only two moored private boats and one of these belongs to the boater looking after the moored Valley Cruiser hire boats.  So it’s just us and one other boat in the basin.

In the afternoon we walked to the nearby retail park to see what was available.  There’sa large Morrisons supermarket, Staples, PCWorld, MacDonalds, etc but nothing that interested us.

Left arrow – retail park.  Centre arrow – Canal Basin.  Right arrow – Sainsbury’s supermarket. 

We wandered back to Waiouru via the city centre stopping at Sainsbury’s to purchase a few items for dinner.  We need to take the trolley back and do a larger shop.

With 24/7 CCTV coverage of the basin it’s unlikely we’ll experience and problems.  Actually it was rather quiet when I wandered around to take some early evening photos.

It seems a canal engineer’s working day is particularly long!

4 comments :

Don McCoskrie said...

Hmmm Your last photo reminds me of our stay in the basin a few years ago. Brindley spent the whole night peering in our bathroom window :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Don,

I hadn't noticed he was only pretending to work!

Clive said...

The Newcomen Engine - built 1721 - and still works today! (Occasionally). We always take a look when visiting Dartmouth.

Tom and Jan said...

Image what would happen if they built things today with that lifespan!