Dogs, Coal,Charity & Canals
I've spent some time over the last couple of weeks dog walking around Bedworth. My cousin John and his partner Corrina run the well established and reputable dog walking and pet sitting enterprise Katz'n'K9z - thoroughly recommended as you will be sure that your pet will be well cared for and indulged if you use their service which you can access through http://katznk9z.com/
Some years ago I combined my enthusiasm for canals and dog walking with a walk with my dog Spike along the canal from Coventry to Oxford to raise funds for Spike's former home - the RSPCA shelter at Coundon Wedge. Corrina has worked as a volunteer for that shelter and knew Spike before I had met him. This came back to mind as I have been covering some of John and Corrina's dog walking duties whilst they were away on holiday (centered around animals in Madagscar!) and I have been taking a couple of (lively!) dogs along the canal close to Charity Dock (off Furnace Road) in Bedworth.
I have been working on research for future guided walks and publications centered around the Coventry Canal and associated industries (see previous blog entries about the Wyken coal fields). The collieries around Bedworth are an important part of the history of the Coventry Canal - the first cargo into the Coventry Canal Basin was coal from Bedworth and the Coventry Canal Company was set up by local colliery owners.
The Charity Dock was so named as coal from Bedworth's Charity Colliery 2 (which was situated close to Leicester Road opposite Bailey Park) was transported from there to London via the canal network. The colliery was named "Charity" (along with "Charity1" near Coalpits Fields) as profits from the collieries were ploughed back into the local community to fund the Alms Houses and a school. Philanthropist Nicholas Chamberlaine was a main player in this set-up.
I'll be offering dog walking (certainly including walks along the canal!) as part of my "on foot services" with Godiva's footsteps - details to follow on the site.