1979 – Bonus catchup day – Day 3b

With every failure comes a bonus catchup day! We started day 3 an hour behind and we ended it before lunchtime in 1979. This left us half a day behind those speedy hire boaters! Can we get back on track?

Stopped at Newbold at 1.30-2.30 for lunch. Chip shop just closed as we got there. Started to spot with rain again at 2.30ish. John just lost his hat in canal. Rain stopped just after 4pm.

Mum, Monday 21st May, 1979
bonus catchup day
Orange is us, purple is them. (6-lunch, 7-tea, 8-overnight)

We got up early again, keen to get cruising and be back on track with the holiday dairy. After all, what is a bonus catchup day without a little bit of effort?!

Annamarie was excited to read in the diary about the chip shop. She loves chips. Lucky for me it didn’t really register with her that the chip shop she was hoping to visit was at Newbold – perhaps Fishsmiths?

We passed through Newbold tunnel bright and early. It was more like a long bridge as it is only 250 yards long. This should have taken 2 minutes but took us 3. I guess that is further proof that we are 50% slower than we could be….

The day was another hot one and it soon started to show. However, it was nice to be cruising and not on such a tight deadline. We moored up near a train line for our lunch. Annamarie started her usual campaign for staying put. I had to politely explain (off camera) that a bonus catchup day meant actually catching up!!

After clearing some spikey weeds out of the prop (thanks to the Canal and River Trust work party…) we were soon on our way again. It was only later that I discovered that we had chosen the same spot as my parents for our meal break. How funny!

We took the opportunity to fill up with water at Ansty as our drinking water supply was getting low. It is important to stay hydrated when out in the sun all day! This gave us the opportunity to do some horse spotting as the gang of horses in the field opposite had a few foals amongst them.

Carried on until big black cloud loomed into view just after 5.30 so we had our tea just past bridge 24 opposite an electric railway that had trains rushing past every 5 mins, very noisy!

Stopped raining by 7pm so we carried on to Hawksbury Junction and got there by 8.15. Just started to rain again.

Mum, Monday 21st May, 1979
Hawksbury Junction
Hawksbury Junction

We soon got to Hawksbury Junction – the point where the Oxford Canal ends and joins the middle of the Coventry Canal. There is a little 6″ lock just before the junction. I think a stop lock to enable better control of water levels. Just before we entered the lock, there was a lot of screaming and it turned out a small child had been playing on the lock gate. She fell in, I think went under, but was dragged out quickly by her brother and a passer-by. She was very lucky. We chose not to talk about this in the video as it likely would have ended in a rant about water safety.

Anyway… we negotiated with at least 6 other boats and were able to exit the Oxford Canal to join the Coventry without incident. It was even quite fun to manoeuvre the boat in such a situation. 

At this point we knew we were ahead of schedule. A great achievement even if it did take us nearly all day! We kept going until we found the only patch of shade in the area. Lucky for us it was just before bridge 14 – the road that leads to Bedworth Fish Bar, a fish and chip shop well worth visiting if you are in the area! It gets a 5* review from us (or it would if we wrote one!)

Why did we need a bonus catchup day? Refresh your memory with Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.


Mandy Smith
13/08/2018 at 8:11 am

Lovely blog. I love your mum’s diary inserts. It’s good to know that little girl was ok. I think you did the right thing not mentioning the incident in the vlog. It would detract from the 1979 diaries. I absolutely loved Kath’s face when she said about Annamarie not knowing how long the next day was going to be! Such a cheeky expression! X

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