Sunday, 6 June 2010

in which we discover that the Navy keeps a fleet of barges......

And here we are making our way down the Hatton flight of locks which have a rise of 146ft 6ins (the canals stick to are imperial measurements) There are 21 chambers spread over two miles. They were opened by the Duke of Kent in 1934 when he was taken through the locks on a barge called 'Progress'. Frankly they are frightening. The gates are heavy and the winding mechanism requires significant strength. They are double locks and we teamed up with a naval barge (I didn't know the navy had canal barges-I wonder when it comes to the defence review what sort of justification the Admirals will have for maintaining a fleet of canal boats. I've been struggling to imagine what naval engagement, in what theatre of war requires their retention. I'd have thought that once we withdrew from east of Suez they would be surplus to requirements) The family in the naval barge called Emily were great. Their two teenage daughters were great loch labourers, without them the journey time would certainly have exceeded 3 hours.

In the distance on the second photo you can see the tower of St Mary's Warwick and slightly out of shot is the old psychiatric hospital where I spent most student holidays working in the laundry. It is now a luxury development of apartments.   


  1. Did you have buy ice creams at the petrol station half way down the flight?

  2. No, but we did lunch of the cafe near the top on a rosemary chicken and Warwickshire Forest cheese toasty!


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