Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Back End of Nuneaton...

We left our mooring late in the afternoon following our usual ritual of worrying about where we could next park the car and when we would collect it. We decided this time to do the van leg of the journey first and the boat last. So a mile walk to the van, load the bikes in, hour driving around looking for a parking space, 7 mile bike ride through mud too deep to walk through back to the boat for a 4pm sarnie for lunch (just like the good old days in the office). 

I had thought that this section of the towpath had all been restored, but evidently it was just the section where the boat was. There were no roads within a few miles of the canal so we had to stick to the towpath. Our slick road tyres were finding traction tricky and Deb resorted at one stage to using her bike as a mobility aide through the mud and walking in the hedge at an angle of about 30deg from vertical. My philosophy was that the mud should have been washed out of the puddles by other bikers with more suitable knobbly tyres, leaving the best chance of traction through the middle of the puddles and their gravelly bottoms rather than trying the muddy circumference that was sure to spit me off. It was a gamble though as the middle of the puddles are the deepest and wettest (as I recall from my CSE geography lessons). The gamble paid off and I made it home unscathed. 

The cruise was at our usual slow place and it was a great evening for it. No other boaters passing by (they're all tucked up in front of Eastenders) just the evening dog walkers and joggers to nod politely to. Jacket spuds in the oven (powered by our now working generator) and pint of 'ome brew on the rear hatch, this is the life. We were waved at by paper reading pensioners and accosted by a drunk BBQ'ing  Irishman wanting an in-depth conversation into the nuances of our solar system (as in our electrical charging panels not the the collection of planets and their moons in orbit around a sun, together with smaller bodies such as asteroids, meteoroids, and comets - who do you think I am Brian Cox?). A quick stop to check the coupling was ok on the generator turned into a half hour audio presentation by 'me-duck', a local boater, describing every safe mooring point and pub for the next five miles as well as his interpretations of the Health and Safety  at work act 1974, as he has just broken his ankle at work after a mere three weeks employment.

We even passed 'Splosh'. Splosh and crew were our resident neighbours in Hinckley. A very warm and genuine family unit tightly squeezed into 60 odd foot. Mum and dad taking a three week break from work with daughter and granddaughter and a planned trip to Llangollen and back. A quick toot of our horn saw beaming smiles and vigorous waves as we passed by. Nice to see them again.

As you leave Nuneaton you can see a very neat hillock in the distance, obviously influenced by man, possibly a motte where a bailey may have stood. It looks great for a bit of a hike and a perusal of the surrounding landscape. Unfortunately a quick google search doesn’t throw up much encouragement; the hill is just a grassy spoils heap in the middle of a quarry.

This kinda sums up the area really; no offence intended to any Nuneatoneons but the place is a bit of a boil on the bum of Warwickshire. I do feel slightly qualified to comment having lived for several years in Basingstoke. I tried Wikipedia to see if I could see endearing features that I was missing and there are quite a lot of interesting facts throughout history (after all it has been around 900 odd years) but few seem to be celebrated nowadays. Of course there is the author George Elliot, Mary Whitehouse and Larry (shut that door) Grayson; but even ‘inckley had its ‘osiery manufacturer and ‘inckley triumph.

I did find some interesting facts that I have pilfered from a wiki Uncyclopedia that made me laugh here are a few excerpts.

                Nuneaton (often commonly spelt Gnuneaton), is a township in the Midlands, which was originally founded sometime between the Triassic Period and 1984, the year of the first Police Academy film, as an elaborate practical joke.
            The township was built by prisoners in the nearby penal colony of Coventry, and is notable for resembling every other slum in the region. The town has something of a frontier mentality, where inbreeding and a total disregard for law and convention is ingrained in local culture. It is possible to tell a resident of Nuneaton apart from peasants of other shanty towns, due to the physical deformities amongst the local population, notably extra digits. This mutation is known as Nunism, and the locals as Nunites. The typical Nuneaton greeting of "Gimme Six!", met with a slapping of hands, can be regularly witnessed in most local hovels. This is known locally as the "hundred hand slap", and was famously stolen by automotive manufacturer Eddie Honda, to advertise their Street fighter range of hatchbacks. Additionally, Nunites can be identified, by their feet. As well as the extra toes, it is required that all Nunites have white socks. Anyone with any other colour, is not a local, despite any facial mutations they may have, and will not get served in Bilberries, the local mecca of sophistication.
            The River Wanker runs parallel with the town sewage system, and is a haven for numerous wildlife, including plesiosaurs and brummies. In common with most parts of the third world, every man, bear, dog, woman, child and other creatures, without gills, descend on the banks, to partake in their weekly communal bath. However the town's most famous landmark is Mount Judd, an anthill, which towers some six foot above the rest of the cesspit. Mount Judd is the primary location for the borough's repeated attempts at space travel, and public executions.
§        Nuneaton is affectionately referred to as Treacle Town, due to the local population being very thick. The average IQ is 58 points.
§  People in Nuneaton are also referred as{ Codders }Due the stealing of the fish from Hinckley in the 1700's
§  Camp Hill has more single mums, than there are rats in branches of Starburger.
§  Nuneaton was forced to twin with nearby Bedworth, as no other towns wanted to be associated with it.
§  The town's biggest export is STDs, and biggest import is taxpayers money, in order to issue 100,000 giros every fortnight.
§  The local branch of Dixons sold two AA batteries for five pounds, making them the most expensive in the world.
§  It is customary in Nuneaton after drinking several pints, to urinate into your own socks, which must under all circumstances be white.
§  For every baby, there are 5,000 nappies dumped on the pavement a day.
§  Until 1989, it was only possible to view Nuneaton in black and white.
§  In 2001, it was deemed necessary to replace or re-design the Queens Arcade - the birth-place of the worlds first pigeon. The Ropewalk Shopping Centre was commissioned after 4 years, it was redesigned 7241 times.

Okay it’s all very tongue in cheek but ‘many a true word is spoken in jest’ Now on to Atherstone!


  1. As the original writer of the Uncyclopedia Nuneaton page (though it has been through a few iterations and additions since - such is the nature of wikis), I am glad you found it a bit of a laugh! Enjoy!

  2. Ahahahahahahahaha! As a friend of the learned man above and of the famous narrow boaters K2, I feel it is my responsibility to point out that Gnuneaton has a silent G on the front of it. We don't have it in the article purely because of Google searches and the fact that you would never have discovered its TRUTH otherwise.
    Please enjoy our gentle mockery....

    1. Hay man! Pure japery, gimme 6!

  3. This is all f***ing bollocks. (quote Mary Whitehouse)