Tuesday 7 June 2022

Hinckley museum

When we were up the Ashby Canal last year, we caught the bus into Hinckley town centre to see the museum.

Unfortunately, I hadn't read the website properly – we'd gone on a day when it wasn't open. So this time we double-checked and, last Saturday, finally got inside. Downstairs there are a couple of rooms celebrating Hinckley's past as a centre of the hosiery industry. Socks, stockings, etc – hose. One room was set up with a big knitting loom as it would have been for the cottage industry. Another had examples of the machines they later invented to automate the processes. 

Hard enough to see how they worked, and staggering to think that, in past centuries, they had conceived how to perform the complex mechanical processes to knit the yarn, and then designed and constructed all the parts for the machines, without CAD software to help.

Upstairs, the old timbers of this 17th century building are splendid, and the exhibits cover some of the social history of the area, especially the local tradition of "Non-conformism".

All in all, well worth a visit if you're cruising that way. But check the website for opening days!

Monday 6 June 2022

Cross pylons

What do you do when two marching lines of pylons cross each other?

You design a small one, and drop one set of cables underneath the other.

In fact, although it doesn't show properly here, there is a small pylon each side of the taller one, with a set of cables going to each, to create a diamond shape around the tall one. I imagine that's to balance out the sideways tension caused by the diversion.

Friday 3 June 2022

Hinckley Jubilee

What with the shallowness of the canals and stopping to fill Erin Mae's water tank, it took us a good long time to get to Hinckley yesterday, but we made it. We got the bus into town in the afternoon, and found our way to Hollycroft Park for a "Proms in the Park" event. The queue stretching down to the gate 45 minutes before they opened it illustrates something of the support there was.

An estimated 2000 people were there – families, picnics, free eco-friendly flags in abundance.

Music was provided by Leicester's Bardi Wind Orchestra. It was an excellent programme of light classics, orchestrated Beatles & Abba, some vocal classics, Vera Lynn and some last night of the proms standards, accompanied by much flag waving and the slightly self-mocking jingoism that characterises that occasion. No pictures of the orchestra, I'm afraid. The ones I took are appalling!

No evening buses on this bank holiday, but we managed to get a taxi back to the canal for not too many pennies. All in all, it was a very enjoyable way to celebrate the Jubilee. Whatever you think about monarchy as an institution, she is one remarkable lady. And my mum approved of her!

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Nuneaton's Nº 10

The Local Authority bus pass for (cough, cough) citizens of suitably advanced seniority is a wondrous thing. Needing to replenish the cupboards with various items, I was able to catch the Nº 10 from within 50 yards of Bridge 21 on the Coventry Canal, and have it deposit me outside the door of an Aldi on the fringes of town, without having to expend the savings from using this particular emporium before I even got there. I thought it should be commemorated with a photo.

Its journey is not through exactly the most exciting parts of Nuneaton, but what struck me was a certain sense of community among the passengers.

One or two would greet each other from time to time, or go and sit with someone they knew. Not a lot, but enough to notice.

Back at Bridge 21, from the map I couldn't see anything more inviting than our current mooring opposite Tomkinson Road Rec, so we've stayed put. Nuneaton visitor moorings look as though they sit right under a railway track and a main road. So we've continued with our custom of short journeys. Tomorrow, however, may well be different. We've noticed that Hinckley has a "Proms in the Park" event as part of the Jubilee celebrations, and we'll probably try to get there.

Which will, of course, entail the use of our bus passes again to get up into the centre of the town from where the canal passes on its outskirts.

I wonder whether Continuous Cruisers (of suitable eminence) are able to get a bus pass, or will no Local Authority take responsibility for such extraordinary people?