I guess we have two prisons here say Dartmoor and Brixton, U.S. readers that`s rural and urban. So our trip begins in rural Radford Semele and ends in urban Warwick with little snatches of rural along the way.
There is on this post a heck of a lot of pictures, think of the numbers 5 and 8, possibly multiplied, added,subtracted, showing our trip but i make no apologies as being stuck here in the five mile prison blogging subjects are few and far between and this one just escalated. Just to emphasise the prison aspect this is the same route we take to go shopping or to get water and diesel but if you pick a bright sunny day it can be a mini holiday from clink. Click here if you don`t understand the word clink.
Leaving the fields in front of the church and Radford Hall we
pass under the main Leamington to Southam road.
Through the bridge and immediately on the left is the site of the Radford Hall brewery that closed in the 1960`s.
I would prefer that the old brewery building was still there. The canal is to the right.
Windows on Warwickshire
Now we are passing through Sydenham Farm housing estate and the bridge ahead was the access to a wharf cottage on the left perhaps to serve the farm or nearby sewage beds, maybe both.
Moving on we are now entering the outskirts Leamington Spa and housing like these streets of terraced houses stand as if defeated of any further advancement by the canal.
Then comes our first winding/turning hole. This was once an arm built in 1892 so that boats could tranship cargoes to the railway. It was about a 120yards long.
A 1934 view of the arm from the Britain from above site.
Before we go any further let`s just take a look at this 1885 survey map with 1923 revisions of our journey so far.
A is the mooring at Radford Semele. Look to the right here and you can just make out a narrowing of the canal and a footpath. Earlier maps show a Drawbridge here and in the hedge along the towpath is what looks like the original stonework for it.
B is the 1st. bridge we came under with the site of the brewery on the left.
C is the access bridge to the wharf cottage.
D is the canal basin/arm.
Sydenham farm buildings are in the centre and you can see the size of the farm enclosed by the railway and canal.
Maps from national library of Scotland.
Housing now almost on the towpath facing the old arm entrance.
More terraced housing standing like soldiers waiting for orders
Gardens reaching down to the waters edge.
All that remains of the old L.N.W.R. Leamington to Rugby line that ran past the brewery and the Radford mooring crossing the canal again at Radford lock.
After crossing the canal the railway went through here.
Start of the Rangemaster factory
Flavel took over Eagle foundry in 1856 and one of it`s early products was the Flavel Kitchener.(left) Flavel became Rangemaster/Aga who still manufacture here and on the right is pictured the one millionth stove to be produced about a year ago.
Eagle foundry from the canal about 1850.
|Flavel factory 1937. Notice the footbridge over the canal still part of the present day scene.|
Passing under bridge 40 that leads to the old high street area of Leamington and the main town centre. Could do with a lick of paint.
On the left after bridge 40 was the site of Leamington gasworks built 1819. Canal boats delivered coal and Thomas Clayton boats took coal tar away.
Same view showing the Gasworks about 1930. The gas holders can just be seen behind the White building but were dismantled in 1982
Even a place like Royal Leamington Spa has it`s share of litter louts.
a rural feel in this cutting.
One of three canal side pubs within the prison limits.
Plenty of housing along here but looking at old maps reveals just fields.
Now we have snatches of open fields although distant housing can be seen. At times we have seen sheep grazing here.
Across the canal again a hint of openness. A 100+ years ago just Jephson`s farm is marked here amongst fields.
|Aqueduct over the River Avon.|
In 1805 Emscote corn mill was established here with the grinding wheels powered by canal water. It was altered in 1885 and 1905 and ended life as the Fleur de Lys pie factory that the flats are named after.
Late 1880`s maps show a boat building yard and slipway next to the bridge. Also at this time a tramway is shown crossing the bridge. This turned out to be not something to do with the canal but horse buses.
The horse buses were replaced by electric trams in 1905 when the Tesco site became a power station and a Tram depot.
The 3 mile route between near Leamington and Warwick ended in 1930. Boating would have been much more fun to see these going over the bridge.
Electric Tram in the depot on the Tesco site. The power station was fed by coal delivered by canal and used water from the River Avon.
This is the site of Emscote Mills where the Nelson family made Gelatin from hides, calves hooves and animal tissue all of which came by canal boat. This is the same Nelson family that had quarries and lime kilns at Nelson Wharf that I blogged about here. Lime came from Stockton to Emscote to be used in the gelatin production. As at Stockton the Nelson family built housing here and a social club(right) for it`s workers and it`s all still there today.Emscote mills in 1900. A good place to start if you are like me a history buff is HERE. The first picture you will see is an aeriel view of the works. The canal bridge to the right in the aeriel view is 48. The works stretched almost up to the present base of Kate Boats. At bottom of page there are a large number of links with some interesting reading.
To the bottom right the canal crosses the two aqueducts then passes the corn mill and tramway depot. Under Emscote road bridge and a very short distance brings us to the Emscote mills gelatin works. Mills with similar names, the other mill was originally called Emscote corn mill and went on to be called Navigation mill.
OK so by now you might be tired of this epic blog but I can only apologise but I got carried away as i kept finding out bits and pieces of the route to the hospital. Just about there now so we can just cruise past what was mostly the gelatin works
|A bit tight, about 8 feet.|
|Kate Boats hire base.|
|Good sign, summers on it`s way.|
All that remains is to make sure our cell door is firmly shut before we settle down.
All finished, all readers having kept going to to this point deserve a medal, well done. That number of pictures I mentioned at the beginning was correct...58.
I am now going to lie down....for a year.