Wednesday, 21 September 2016

So they've gone and its just us two again.

Going from having five onboard to just the two of us is an odd sensation.  The boat almost feels too big, after not being able to move for falling over a holdall and bedding.  
On the plus side, Lots of hard work done for us and all the washing-up has been done as Mitch is a compulsive housework doer! 
The last of the locks to do today at Tyrley.  

This is the pound above was where NB Constance warned us about the rocks in it and its shallowness all those months ago on our way up.  
Today we returned the compliment and passed the information on to nice hirers behind us.
As you can see from the photo below there were a handful of boats following us up the locks.

One coming down assured us that these by washes were "Nothing" and "Very quiet" today, indeed they had passed by them in them in wet times and the water gushes out of the top!!!!!  Your boat is pushed onto the "Rocks" in places and people had been stuck before...... gulp.  No such events today, we made good progress following one boat. 
 The captain made no effort though to help his crew wife, shutting paddles etc on one side which not only do I deplore, but it does make the whole process slower and we caught them up.  On the penultimate lock at Tyrley, however I was just about to open the bottom paddles to empty it for us to use when a volunteer was making great haste towards me on the tow path...  "Leave the gates open, there's a boat coming down!"  
I questioned this as I had only just seen the gate close as the slower boat had entered it....
"Yes there is a whole queue of boats coming down"
Now Reader I am by nature a most obedient lady who always does as she is bid however on this occasion I did put it to her that
a)  The previous boat had held us up all along.
b)  The lock in front had not even started to empty yet.
c)  There are a queue of boats behind us all waiting too.
d)  There is certainly NO shortage of water on these locks today.

Did I do wrong?  She said "I can only advise not order" and ran on past. I did feel guilty as I normally always comply, however David and I were confident that we could whizz though without causing mayhem and so we proceeded.  
Bish Bash Bosh and there we were finished and waiting below the top lock gates still for this boat to appear......

They finally did and I even opened the gates for them with another boats crew....  Turned out that their dog had ran off as they were wanting to empty the lock and the crew fetched the dog back before working the lock...  So that's alright then. Guilt all gone.

Penultimate Lock here at Tyrley

We could have watered up here but yes there was a queue of boats waiting and huffing at the delay.  One already on the water point, plenty of congestion, so we carried on past with a couple more boats arriving to do the locks.  Glad we started early, 10am is a mad time to be arriving at a flight of locks me thinks.

We simply headed south, it was a lovely day as you can see but the sun was wasted as we spent ages and ages in tree lined cuttings.  I don't remember the cuttings being quite so long or quite so wooded.  
I am not so very fond of cuttings, I much prefer open views and embankments to sit in the sun.

Balancing like a ballerina.

Sun keeping out of the way.

Lots of thick mud even in August.

Van goes over as we go under

Passing through Norbury Junction

Can anyone tell me what these are or were for?

Passing through Brewood, very ornate windows in what looks like a former warehouse

I only just spotted them before the bridge.

The tunnel, hardly worth the scramble to get the forgotten light cover off in time.

Loads more mud, trees, narrows and no sun.

But a lovely Turnover bridge.

 So we had moored last night, out in the sticks in lovely open countryside prior to all the dreary cuttings and to be able to get to Weaton Aston nice and early in the morning to fuel up at the Cheap as Chips garage which is located alongside the bridge on the canal, and for us to have had this completed before the expected rain at 11am.  
We got there 45 mins before opening which was a bit of a drag.  But I put the kettle on to enjoy a peaceful coffee, the nice man had arrived early to get his paperwork completed, but he insisted that we fill up way before opening time.  By now it was 9-ish and the rain had started.  
Not at all annoying.  
We pushed on and moored up here below, just before the aqueduct over the A5.  

This photo of us the next morning pushing off was done very cautiously as I had spotted ANOTHER wasp's nest near to the  front pin!!

Last nights mooring.

Attractive railings want a lick of paint.

Going over the A6 I think it was.
So here we are at Autherley Junction at the very start of the Shropshire Union canal.  We turn left onto the Staffs to Worcester canal and are very much heading for home now.

Late born baby, I hope she makes it through the winter.

So as the rain began again and David got tired, we moored up about 25 morning minutes from Gailey.  


  1. One on the right is a Grindstone,probably driven by a belt from overhead shafts.One on the left is the remains of a Crane, you can see the beam and the winding mechanism.

    1. Oh thank you Andy. How very sad to see al these vintage relics in a sad state. I hope it will all be restored.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Alf, I am always happy to be corrected. But I was close eh?