Mallory and I were the first ones in shoes today so reported for duty.... and would you just look at the weather?
|First lock of the day, Kinver. We didn't go to the Vine pub, but we had been told that last Tuesday the food, the service and the management were indifferent by another boater....|
|What a beautiful vista, there is a CART sign there asking 'Boaters, please do not moor in front of this house' I can't help asking why? Why buy it if Boaters are aggravating?|
|Beautiful rolling hills, who needs to go boating in France I ask myself.|
|"Let's walk" says Verity so I followed along.|
|Glad I was walking to get this shot of WaL coming out of Dunsley Tunnel.|
The forecast was all over the place today, it had been forecast that it would be sunny in the morning and clouding over, chance of rain. Well we had a way to go today and tomorrow (For us anyway) to get the car and then consequently to their return train station. So as it was rain tomorrow we carried on like normal boaters to enjoy doing the locks in the sun.
Now I hadn't been counting but an awful lot of boats had passed us, heading south. The lady crew on the boat behind us here said it was 19, it worked swimmingly at locks of course for all concerned, but it was more boats than we had seen since April.
Turned out it was the Wolverhampton Boat Club having a Rally at Stourport, I am not completely sure where they were all going to put themselves in Stourport but I hope great fun was had by all.
|Don't you just love blue and yellow?|
Rather a wonderful garden on the off side, I saw a chap with a cap and a wheelbarrow, maybe a gardner, maybe the owner. I do love gardens but Hells Bells you'd be a slave to this one. Think I prefer boating and visiting them.
|Maybe slightly Footballers Wives Grecian urn|
|But again signs in the garden saying "Please do not moor your boat opposite this garden".....!|
|I crossed a main road to operate a lock and these came past, don't think the drivers behind minded a jot. Given the choice, I would want teeth over tatoos.|
|Many of these locks had fearsome gate paddles.|
Now I can't remember exactly where this lock cottage was, I really really hope it is Graded, Listed or in the very least has a Preservation Order on it, because it does look in need of some restoration. See the beautiful windows?
Finally onto Bratch Locks. These locks look like a staircase flight but in reality they are ordinary locks but separated by a very short space. Later to speed up the journey from Staffordshire to the docks at Worcester, they amended the locks with side pounds and other things HERE
We were lucky and went straight into the bottom chamber.
|Three lock keepers on duty here today.|
|The sweet tower was a toll house and a separate house at the very top.|
|Victorian Water Pumping Station, they sure knew how to build then.|
I chatted to the lock Keeper, asking if it had been a busy weekend, yes he said 33 boats came down yesterday from the Boat Club!!
Blimey if they were all from the Boat Club, wherever are they all going to moor in Stourport! He had notified the reservoir and they were pumping plenty of water down.
We moored up above the locks here at Bratch. Or rather tried to, no rings on a wonderful bit of straight but I suppose the in the summer its where all the boats queue, so a friendly chap suggested we go just around the corner, which we did. Don't go opposite the cricket pitch as they have big hitters playing in the team and the lock keeper fished a cricket ball out of the canal the other day, it could get yer boat window, but don't go too far as there's a dogs home and they all bark at tea time and breakfast!
So a fab mooring in the sun for the evening, G&T's all round and Verity cooked Thai Green Curry for supper with lemon cheesecake.