I wouldn't swap my house because when I look out of my window, I look right out onto the water. I live in the house next door to the Swan Pub at Fradley Junction - right on the junction. I hear the bumps when people misjudge how sharp the turn is at the junction! Narrowboat bows bump into the canal sides all the time and we definitely see a lot of repairs!
Our house used to be the old inspector's house many years ago when boats were all drawn by horses. We've got loads of old bits of the original stables. How we originally came to live here was because husband worked for British Waterways. And it was in the family before that, as it was his grandad's. My husband now works for the Canal & River Trust, and he's worked on canals for over 40 years. Canals are just part of our life! This morning he's working at Alrewas Lock on a winter maintenance stoppage. He's not far off retirement so he's seen a lot of changes and how many different people are using the canals these days.
I was brought up in a pub in Alrewas, when it was called the Navigation. I've cooked all my life, and for the last eleven years I've been the cook at Kingfisher Canalside Café & Holiday Park here at Fradley Junction. Jim’s my boss! It's a lovely atmosphere here. Lots of people stay at the park and others come just for lunch or afternoon tea so it gets really busy in summer. People like water, whether it's the sea, a canal or a lake - and when they come here they say it's a 'quaint little place'. To us, it's just what we know!
Gina & Jim, Fradley Junction, Coventry and Trent & Mersey Canals