On Monday afternoon we arrived at the end of the Coventry Canal from Hawkesbury Junction. The ‘Y’ shaped Basin that was originally designed to unload boats laden with coal for the growing industry of Coventry, fell into disuse over the years and has been tastefully restored for the use of leisure boats now. The mooring is conveniently close to the city with its numerous shops and monuments and is well worth visiting.
At rest in Coventry Basin
Though the Basin is a delight I found the run down from Hawkesbury Junction rather depressing with its miles of derelict weed infested sites and graffiti over everything that doesn’t move. The waterway too has been used as a rubbish bin over the years and the whole area has the air of being badly neglected. However the sight of ‘Cash’s 100 Houses’ towards the end of the canal helped to restore my spirit. Though only 48 were ever built, for families of ribbon weavers with their looms on the top floor, they are a splendid monument to the industry. The earlier sighting of the large ‘Tesco Extra. Open 24 hrs.’ sign nearby, did its best relieve my dejection a little as well.
Cash’s 100 Houses
It was good to see that Nature had not deserted the canal though. Autumn colours were beginning to flourish and a happy family of Swans, mum, dad and six near fully grown cygnets, followed us for much of the journey to Coventry.
Yesterday Janis and I visited the city to see the sights, as well as shop at Sainsbury's on the way back to the ships. It had changed much since I was last here many years ago, when my parents brought me by car from Banbury. Then the population were in the process of rebuilding their city after that dark November night in 1940 when a greater part of it was destroyed by enemy bombs. What has been accomplished now with the two cathedrals exemplifies the positive attitude that has guided the rebuilding of the city and though most of the ancient monuments are no longer the originals, they have been very tastefully restored to their former glory.
Poignant open holes that were windows
The old and the adjacent new
The restored Alms-houses
The atrium of the Alms-houses
We spent a good day looking and contemplating quietly to ourselves what is obviously a tremendous recovery. A Phoenix from the ashes.