In preparation for a weekend of moving, we decided to go to the Radford Bank Pub and Carvery for an pre-weekend meal. And a very good and cheap meal it was.. £50 for all four of us.. including drinks! I think we may need to do a quick detour back here on the way back from Wales!
Day 1 : Good Friday (Bridge #99 Moorings to Gailey Top Lock Moorings)
(10 Locks, 8.15 miles)
And a wonderfully good Friday it is.. Set off about 10am.. Past the Stafford Boat Club, with some very nice moorings..
More green fields.. open canals.. and lovely sunshine!
There is even new armco and a re-paved tow path at bridge 93 at Acton Trussell..
Also some rather nice canal side houses..
And more residential long term mooring.. not to sure about driving the car along to the boat though..
And on past Midland Chandlers.. based at Park Gate Lock #40.. with the old Lock Keepers cottage now someones home for them and their boat!
Some good use of”immobile” homes.. cant think of a better place for a mobile home park..
Pulled in at the Boat Inn, Penkridge to have some lunch and a drinkie 😉 and set off again once we were duly watered.. past Otherton Boat “Haven”
3 more locks… and we decided to call it a day.. so pulled in at Gailey Top Lock Moorings for the night.
( I think we may need a bigger horse though.. that little black one tied to the boat doesn’t seem to be getting us far! – or in the right direction!!)
Day 2 : Easter Saturday (Gailey Top Lock Moorings to Brewood Visitor Moorings)
(2 Locks, 12.90 miles)
Time to move on.. more days to get done. There was only really one lock left to get done, but the mooring there was better this side, so we left the last lock for today.
Up through that one and past an ABC Boat Hire base and JD Boat Services..
On through more tree lined canals..
Past Hatherton Marina..
And the now partly dis-used Hatherton Canal – the end of which is now used as part of the marina.. but there are plans to re-build it..
And – just incase you tried to go down a dead end…
Some more permanently moored boats and nice houses later..
My boat pixie re-appeared!!!
Got down to the narrow section at Forster Bridge #68.. and it is narrow!
And of course.. there had to be a boat coming the other way.. and with few passing places – and as they were next to one when I spotted them and tooted the horn.. they pulled in and waited.. and was a squeeze to get through..
And down to the Shropshire Union Canal.. a quick tight right turn and off towards Chester..
And through the stop lock at the end of the Shropshire Union Canal
Pulled in just after Napton Narrowboat’s Hire Base to grab some ice-cream.. and to have a break for 10 minutes.. but onward..
And finally to the stop point for today.. settle down, have something to eat.. and run off to the shops in Brewood..
Day 3 : Easter Sunday (Brewood Visitor Moorings to Black Flat Bridge Moorings)
(1 Lock, 15.80 miles)
Woke this morning to the sound of church bells ringing out Easter Sunday 🙂 some of the boats that were here have already moved on.. and now its our turn..
Pulled in at the water point below Wheaton Aston Lock.. Dawson keeping the plants watered!
I spotted something through the next bridge.. not a common occurrence on the tow path.. sheep! Time to turn into a “sheep boat”
I dont know where they came from.. but there quite happy here…
Up and through Norbury Junction
And through High Bridge #39.. where Dawson was presented with a “pop quiz”.. find out when and why there is a telegraph pole in the middle of the bridge…
High Bridge (Bridge No. 39) was erected between 1832 and 1833 to carry the road from Newcastle-under-Lyme to Newport. Shortly after its construction, however, the pressure being exerted onto the bridge from the cutting walls required the insertion of a strainer arch. In 1861 the United Kingdom Electric Telegraph Company installed telegraph cables along the entire length of the canal and the strainer arch was subsequently used for the siting of a telegraph pole. The telegraph wires were replaced with telephone wires in 1870…
Today.. as it is a Grade II listed building, the wires are gone.. but the pole, bridge and strainer arch remain..
And if you are going to have canal side property.. why not..
And past the old loading dock for Premier Foods (now used for boat works by someone..)
And time to pull in for the day at Black Flat Bridge..
With some happy animals.. Even Luna’s been let off the lead – under the watchful eye of momma… happily jumping on and off the boat.. until.. splash.. one very soggy.. VERY grumpy kitten!
Day 4 : Easter Monday (Black Flat Bridge Moorings to Hawksmoor Bridge #72 Moorings)
(10 Locks, 9.83 miles)
There’s a possible 25 locks to get done today.. 2 sets of 5.. and a set of 15! So I’m making it a early start today.. if we don’t get them all done.. so be it!
And more.. and more moored boats.. it seems we have had mile after mile of chugging along past this lot the past few days!!
I have also seen many “tenders”.. most inflatable.. but this has to be the best yet!
Yet more narrow parts.. and yes.. another boat coming the other way.. again!!
Down the first group of 5 locks.. and the side wash was rather bad.. I can see why there’s a warning on the map for these..
And this little fella I was requested to get a shot of..
A quick stop in Market Drayton for some basic supplies to see us over the next few days.. and onto the next group of 5 locks..
Eventually.. we got through the second set of 5 and moored up just below the last of the 10 locks.. It’s a little short of the target for today, but I dont fancy everyone doing the next lot on the same day as it would be very stressful and tiring.. so were calling it for today..
We will just need to move for a few hours tomorrow to get to the point where we can get a hire car for my end of the week run down to slough… some 3 hours drive away now!
And finally.. our view for the rest of today, tonight and tomorrow until we move on!