Monday, 6 October 2014

Quick!! Elephants.

The next day we did leave pretty smartish.  A couple of very tight bridges on narrow bends, the difficulties here can be aided by passing dog walkers or runners by asking them if another boat is coming.  Very friendly folk in these parts.

I even did some driving Reader….  I have no nerves around Mr Lewis (Reader, we have friends who have no boat of their own as of yet however they consider themselves “Boat Sharers” with WaL) now Mr Lewis has give me a lesson or two, (Reader really this was hours and hours) he has a most calm and gentle teaching manner which fills me with confidence of which I have none.  

My husband on the other hand comes from the school of thought that demands a baby be thrown into the ocean to teach them how to swim.  He simply said you do this one and jumped off WaL to do the lock.  My heart sank, my stomach turned over, the boat was by now heading to the other side of the canal and I couldn’t remember which way to turn the steering wheel.   I called to him and did that arm flapping in the air thing he does so often to me and finally he stood on the wee bridge in front and directed me like a policeman directing the traffic and I actually did it without bumping too much….  
Afterwards I started to breath again and everything.  
But then there was a corner and a vintage boat coming so I ran and hid under the bed.

David take the wheel quick!! There's a boat and a bend.

Jolly chaps, last saw this at the Braunston Show in the summer.

We Moored up in Kidderminster.

Two bridges in one shot.  The steam trains go over the top one.

Canal form the top bridge.

I went shopping,  David washed and polished the pointy end of the boat.  He seems to prefer doing that to coming shopping although he was invited.  I felt a total failure as I brought nothing.

David was a bit nervous mooring here on a Friday night, he didn’t sleep that well.  The pub opposite was a popular one with merry customers all outside due to the lovely weather,  at 2:30am he heard the cry of “Police Stop!!!!” whoever it was didn’t stop as there was a flying jump and someone heavyish landed on the towpath and continued running, even heavier feet landing seconds after, then a struggle, then a ”Just get in there” as the sound of a body being aided into the back of what could have been a police van.  I carried on sleeping but David was awake the rest of the night. 

As he was awake anyway he got up and made the picnic for today.  We were going on a trip on the Seven Valley Steam Railway.  I love steam trains.

We brought return tickets to Bridgnorth which is the limit of this line.  It was busy which is great.  The seats were beautifully bouncy as I remembered from a child.  

Fantastic ticket office.

Remember when Smiths looked like this?

We passed this one when it was halted.

Bridgnorth is a fabulous place to visit.  It has two parts, high town and low town along side the river.  It was a trading port on the River Seven and goods were unloaded at night and brought up to the high town on donkeys up narrow lanes with specially laid steps to help the donkeys.
In 1892 they put in a Funicular Railway to link high and low town, great fun.

Bridgnorth, high and low town visible.

River going down to Stourport.

There was a fish and chip shop, which when we arrived had a queue out of the shop and down the street, later when we had had a walk and come back around it still and a queue.  Then over a hour later still there were people queueing out of the door.  Amazing.

Al run by volunteers

Casey Jones

Entrance to the funicular railway.


View down form the terminus

View to the north.  A family member form these parts used to play rugby here, a penalty hit too hard resulted in the ball sailing off down the river.

David picnic on his back in quaint street.

How cute is this?

Baskets gone mad, if the plants don't get you the sandwich boards will.

See what I mean.... this could be France.

I have never seen quite so many pubs as here in Bridgnorth, they were on seemingly every corner and I only spotted one that had closed down….

I think I've walked over this hill

Home again after a fabulous day out, the train passes by the elephant enclosure at the West Midlands Safari Park where they have a very new baby elephant which was right by the fence.  It was here that my camera battery died.  Not at all annoying.

We left Kidderminster late in the afternoon, there was no way David was going to stay there a Saturday night.  A quick flit to the countryside.  A bottle of wine opened in the silence. Not a breath of air moved that evening with a few birds singing and the odd fish leaping.  We sat on deck till the very last bit of light.

Supper was sausages, sweet potato wedges and healthy green beans for supper.

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