The Ashby canal gets its name from Ashby-de-la-Zouch (rhymes with douche) though it doesn’t actually go there, and never did. It used to end at the nearby Moira Mines noted for their high quality coal production, and not to be confused with the Mines of Moria, noted for their high volume orc infestation. It’s an easy mistake to make, as I said when they stopped me dynamiting the mine entrance. These days the canal ends eight miles short of there in the middle of a field, though there are plans to restore the missing section some day.
The last bridge on the current canal has an interesting sign.
No traction engines allowed, as of 1889. What’s interesting is that the sign has been maintained for over a hundred years, and is still freshly painted. The bridge is much more recent than that, so it appears someone did try the traction engine challenge, and brought the old one down. Is there something about the British character that means that once an official sign has been posted it has to be maintained for ever? Check out this one from Lichfield.
Then there was the pub in Llangollen that still offers stabling.
It’s not like these signs are up there because nobody has bothered to take them down. They are clean and well maintained. There will probably be signs saying This Way To The Channel Tunnel long after it has been filled with cement to keep the continentals out. The original Channel Tunnel was canceled to keep Napoleon out, so this is not as unlikely as it seems.
We started the day near Market Bosworth, a town where the cows are golf enthusiasts…
the chippie has a great name…
and the waste baskets are historical markers.
If they ever want to fight the battle again, they will have somewhere to put the bodies.
We were happy to find the Sunday Farmers’ Market in full swing.
We bought cheese and chocolate, but skipped the Beaver Pie.
We only have about a dozen wild beavers in the UK as they were hunted to extinction in the 16th Century and reintroduced in a couple of places in the 21st, and certainly not enough to make pies out of. This is actually a steak pie and ale made with a beer called Wild Beaver, and steak from the Vale of Belvoir (pronounced Beaver because the Anglo-Saxons were having no truck with Norman French).
The canal from Market Bosworth to Snarestone is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which to the boater means both sides of the canal are over grown with rushes. Passing boats coming in the other direction is a bit of a challenge. As one of the canal volunteers put it, you go dead slow, edge over to the side a bit, and see which of you runs aground first.