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Friday, March 04, 2016

A boat trip to the hospital.

In prison but we still get the choice of transport to Jaq`s physio classes. By boat beats the bus or car and we are always guaranteed a mooring space, no charge. At Warwick hospital a two hour car park charge is £3($4.50). In London at the Royal Free it`s double that. 

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.

 The tickle family were farming here in the 1920`s and in 1954 purchased the farm for £12,000($18,000). Not sure of the size but today 2,000 homes, 3 schools, 2 pubs and some shops occupy the site. With the industrial area it must as far as i can measure total 80 acres or more.  I wonder what it all sold for in 1959.

 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
Now we are in Leamington and this was the location of Eagle Foundry built in 1833.
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

Now starting to move away from Leamington

Even a place like Royal Leamington Spa has it`s share of litter louts.

The last of perhaps what might be rentals, identical chairs on each balcony, before the canal takes on

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.

An aqueduct takes the canal over the London-Birmingham tracks.

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. 

Next the canal crosses the River Avon on yet another aqueduct. This is where some modern day canal builders want to have locks down to the Avon to make another route to Stratford on Avon and onto the River Severn at Tewkesbury. I did read the idea of using the R. Leam and joining the canal at Radford. Not in my lifetime but who knows what the future might bring.
Aqueduct over the River Avon.

A now and then shot of the canal at Emscote road bridge 46. Tesco is to the right if that helps those having boated this way. The working pair are just about to go under the bridge. Picture dated pre 1960.
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.
Here we are this is our mooring opposite the hospital, the footbridge is just ahead. Unlike Radford we are near to housing but that is a small price to pay for the convenience. We have to come this far for water, about quarter mile further on. Every opportunity we always return to Radford which has become our country estate.

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.


Caroline and Martin said...

Thank you for such an informative post. We were not far from Leamington Spa today having made a visit to out boat builder, so some I have found it of particular interest. We hope to see these sights ourselves as well as the Hatton Flight on our boat, rather that on foot as we have up to now. Caroline

Boatwif said...

Les, yet again an amazing piece of research and analysis. I could have done with you and your skill on my team!
Sue remembers something about Jephson, the Spa and the gardens in Leamington.
Love to you both
Ken and Sue

Les Biggs said...

Hi Caroline/Martin
Glad you enjoyed it and the very best with your new build.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Ken/Sue
Yes Leamington is a good visit with the gardens and hothouse of tropical plants. The spa baths within the museum etc. Just need Jaq to be a bit better on her knee to go exploring.

Unknown said...

Hi Les & Jaq,
I loved every minute of reading todays blog. Such interesting historic facts and comparison photos.
Mick's first trip to the UK we swapped houses with a lady living in Leamington Spa for 5 weeks so that Tesco was our "local". She now lives in Radford but we don't hear from her so much now.
We have very dear friends, met during that house exchange who then lived in Leamington and are now in Warwick. So we've spent a good amount of time in the area where you're lurking. Please don't see it as prison. You're living our dream.... and yours Jaq... this is just a pause. :)
Our very first day of our grand adventure in the UK we went to that Tesco and then walked down to the canal. We saw narrowboats cruise past and it felt so strange to think that was going to be our life for a year. Our last week in the UK was in a converted barn on a farm just out of Warwick. So, we started and ended that adventure in Warwick.
Thanks for the memories in today's blog!
Elly in Oz

Carol said...

Great blog Les, thoroughly enjoyed the cruise with you both. Stay well, warm and safe. love to you both. xx

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Les, Jaq
Never too many words nor too many pictures! Great post, very informative.

Jennie said...

I will see that stretch with whole new eyes next time we do it - thank you Les. A really enjoyable read. Jennie and Chris

KevinTOO said...

Thanks Les, what a great post, it's kept me occupied and well entertained :)

Quaysider said...

Loved the photos - we did that trip back in blew a hooley the entire time between Stockton top and the hatton flight when we hired from Kate - 'seems you are stuck in a smaller area right now but at least the cape of good hope is local AND you can use Morrison's without too far to hobble.

'hoping you continue to improve and are soon let out for good behaviour ;-)

Les Biggs said...

Hi Kelly. You can rely on Tesco to be remembered wherever you live. Nice that you read the post and could picture in your head the area as the pictures unfolded.

Les Biggs said...

It's Elly, why do phones think they know what word you want.

Les Biggs said...

Carol been reading your London posts so am now not worried about too much content. Just love visiting the smoke, my birthplace.

Les Biggs said...

Thanks Jennie and Kevin glad you enjoyed it because it sure did take a time to do.

Les Biggs said...

Hi Quaysider
Just wish we could move that far but Jaq still has Physio to complete. Soon though.

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs