So we continued to make our way up the Staffs to Worcester canal. Frequent Flyers to this blog will remember that this is a favourite, should we have a spare fortnight, we might well "Pop" down to Stourport.... But as it happens we had been away a little longer than I would usually like to leave my mother (She is just about to celebrate her 92nd birthday, along with my own daughter, and three grandchildren all of which have their birthdays within a week of each other) so we do have to get a bit of a lick on now.
|Goodness we were delighted to get into this single mooring at the time in total shade just below
Bumble Hole locks
|Next morning setting off early,
|Dawn, a sight I don't often see but David does regularly.
In the cool evening yesterday we had cycled up to the supermarket at Swindon, on the way back several 'yoophs' were sat on a bench alongside the locks. Of course they had left their rubbish behind, cans and the like so while the lock was filling and David scrubbing his back deck I collected it all up and as quietly as I could put it all in the wheelie bin of the cottage here. Hoping they didn't have a barky dog. It was dawn after all.
|This attractive house has been developed but they have kept the old shed ....
All too quickly we arrived at Bratch Locks, not staircase locks but very nearly. The Lockies are due on at 8am but we were there before 07:30. I was a bit nervous a the thought of operating them as I've not done it unsupervised before. I went up and read the sign. Then read it again.
Then a cyclist arrived and as he drank from his water bottle I just casually asked if he happened to be a lock keeper?
He walked towards me as he took off his T shirt and said Yes I am! He put on his blue Volunteers shirt.
Not only was it not his scheduled day to work but he'd seen no one else had put down their names to work so he had dropped by to lend a hand. What a good guy.
|Up in the first one.
|Watching this swirling whirlpool is hypnotic and draws you closer
I can't remember now exactly where we stopped to complete the journey as you may have guessed by now Reader we are home again and all those birthdays have been celebrated.
There was further fun to be had at the end of our run as we met up with Joe & Lesley first owners of NB Caxton and Amanda and David the new owners of the new NB Caxton.
We all met up in the sweltering heat at Great Haywood on her maiden voyage.
|Lesley took this one so is absent from view.
|This is Tucker a new edition to Lesley and Joe's family, baby brother to Marsha.
|Very proud owners and they should be too for Caxton is absolutely gorgeous inside and out.
So the 'Boat Sharers' have finally become Boat Owners.
They are off to Canada very shortly to celebrate retirement, spend quality time with their baby grandson and see some more of the country.
We hope to do a bit of boating with them on their return, possibly in the spring now but certainly when we've all had lots and lots more rain to fill the reservoirs.