We say we did two tunnels today: in fact we did one tunnel twice, having reached the current terminus of the Ashby and turned to moor at the southern portal under The Globe pub. Apparently the steak and ale pie at The Globe is superb so we must sample it.
However I have digressed into our day at its end rather than its beginning. We were (last night) resolved to make an earlier start today. The early became a tad later in our perception when we woke to a cold, grey morning, but we did manage to get moving by 9.30 and took turns to walk as we headed the last miles to the canal end. I was the first walker and I had not gone far when I spotted a lovely furry brown water vole doggy paddling across the canal. Reminded me of my swimming style with my nose well out of the water.
On we went passing the long line of moored boats at Shackerstone and through Gopsall Wood, near where Handel spent some time and may have written the Messiah. Then we passed under Snarestone through the tunnel and we were at our destination. Mr Pearson describes the tunnel as being 250 murky yards. Not so: on a very grey and indeed murky day the tunnel seemed bright and spacious. The beam of the headlight lit up the roof so completely and the water was so still that it looked as if we were gliding through a giant tube with a mirror image below us of the curved roof above.
When we had winded and moored at the end we went over to the Ashby Canal Association sales shop and talked to Terry who was telling us about progress on the restoration. It is going to take £14m to restore the canal as far as Measham, which would add a wonderful extra dimension for boaters and bring a lot of revenue into the area. We also talked about the coal deliveries from the Ashby to the John Dickinson paper mills in Croxley Green, which ended in 1970. We remember the John Dickinson paper mill from when we first moved to Croxley Green. Now the former wharf is a new housing estate, no mooring permitted!
Terry recommended The Globe pub and the aforementioned steak and ale pie. We walked into Snarestone this afternoon, admiring some wonderful houses, and walked back along the canal, then decided that we were better to move along next to the pub rather than walking in the dark tonight. And that takes me back to my starting paragraph and off we go to eat pie!
Today we did 6.52 Miles and 2 Tunnels
Statistics so far:-
2021.24 Miles, 1128 Locks, 118 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 34 Tunnels