• Phil

Wednesday 16th July – Rambling on .... Ricoh to Canal Basin

Following on from Tuesday I completed the five and a half miles of canal towpath walk between the Canal Basin and Hawkesbury Junction. Along with my companion Spike took the No. 4 bus to the Ricoh (yesterday’s starting point) then changed direction from yeaterday’s towpath walk to head towards the City Centre. This stretch of walk includes sites related to the city’s textile industry, the country’s first car factory and Coventry’s earliest electricity generation plant as well as the historical canal basin itself.

The walk passes two of my old workplaces – the site of the Courtaulds Acetate factory and the temple on George Eliot Rd which once served as a depot, stores and training centre for West Midlands County Council in the 80s.I worked there and on various building projects across the city as a building labourer via a scheme which offered one year contracts and training to the unemployed. One of those projects was the renovation and maintenance of the canal towpath and construction of the Sowe Valley footpath – now recognised as valuable leisure facilities (and subjects for these last two blogs). Future posts will look at the industrial past (including my own) of this stretch.

I went on to spend a relaxing afternoon sitting around the canal basin area with a friend who I have worked with as a volunteer at the Real Junk Food Project – a social enterprise to reduce food waste (there will be more about that project in Friday’s post).

Good to see plenty of activity – including canoeing and model boating going on around the basin in the early evening. Regular activity around the waterside, small theatre / music venue offers a real continuation of those regeneration projects of 30 odd years ago!

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