After leaving Braunston, the second part of my photo-journey last Saturday morning took me across to the Grand Union and Stockton Locks around the Warwickshire Fly yard and Kaye’s Arm at Lock 12. I walked from Lock 12 down to Lock 13 Itchington Bottom Lock. The area is a haven for old boats and fascinating waterside detail – such as this painted pair, a coffee jug and water can, spotted atop a live-aboard on the offside side of the Cut below New Bridge (No.24).

Given that many BCN day boats were painted in variations on a theme of green and red I was taken with the gorgeous paintwork adorning the back cabin of butty South Midland Ltd. Verbena. (Verbena, formerly Vienna was registered in Birmingham No. 1234 in 1911, then in a fit of patriotic fervor in 1916 re-named and re-registered as Verbena No. 1347. The name flipped back to Vienna in 1972 and then reverted to Verbena in the SMWTLtd. livery in 2011…)
Tucked below Lock 12 was Crane. Built by Yarwoods in October 1924 for FMC, entering their fleet as No. 293, she was of iron composite construction. Registered in Birmingham as 1470, and as BCN 979. Crane entered service with Willow Wren in 1956. Converted in early ’90s and de-converted by Ray Bowern of Streethay Wharf from 2002.
Itchington Bottom Lock  looking towards the former lock cottage. One of the ‘candlestick’ style ‘hydraulic’ paddle gears dominates the foreground.

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