Yesterday evening I made the decision to walked to Snarestone at the end of the main navigation. I wanted to see how many vacant moorings were available. Three boats were moored before Snarestone Tunnel. These moorings look rather pleasant and it’s only a short walk from them to the Globe pub. The towpath doesn’t go through the tunnel.
There isn’t much at the end of the navigation. 48 hour moorings on left and then a winding hole. After that there is a narrow pedestrian swing bridge over the canal. The water point and elsan are to the left of the bridge and a small shop/office run by the Ashby Canal Association is on the right.
I took this next photo looking back the way I had walked.
I think the moorings on this side of the bridge (the far side) are better than those further south. However unless the boat is less than 50ft you would need to wind and reverse through the pedestrian bridge. That is what we did today.
This afternoon I went for a local walk, initially following the canal. The main navigable part of the canal ends at a 50ft winding hole immediately beyond Bridge 52. The bridge is actually new, although it has some old signs.
The original canal appears to have been filled in beyond the winding hole. My assumption is this was done to protect the original structure.
I could hear the sound of a tracked machine working and deviated from the canal alignment to investigate. It was quite a surprise to discover a tracked APC (armoured personnel carrier) racing around a dirt circuit.
Small boys got the the BMX track and big boys got the APC track!
My wanderings eventually found me at Measham where (fortuitously) there was a Tesco where I could buy Jan’s weekly magazines. Measham has an interesting history <read here> and amongst other things produced pottery. Jan has purchased a Measham teapot from the canal shop.
Tesco at the top and our mooring at the bottom
I was almost back at the mooring when I noticed the large building on the eastern bank of the canal.
With the high chimney and large arch doors I suspected it was a former engine room. After getting closer I could see what appeared to be a large flywheel and axle mounting protruding through the side of the building.
It’s the former Snarestone Pumping House, Grade II listed and now a private residence. What was it pumping, water from a underground mine or water into the canal as a feeder. After some searching I found a website <here> which suggests to me this is a Victorian pump house which used to pump water to the town of Hinckley for domestic consumption. So nothing to do with the canal. Two former engine balance beams have been positioned on a plinth opposite our mooring. They look interesting but I again think there is no direct relationship with the canal.