Last Sunday we moved from Penkridge to Gailey. It was absolute mayhem when we arrived – boats waiting for the water-point, waiting for the lock, an generally milling about all over the place. By the time we had cleared the lock it had all calmed down a bit, and we managed to find a mooring spot where the 5 day moorings change to 48hrs – it was a bit dark as it was partially under a tree, and it was a dull and cloudy day, but not too bad
It’s about 8 years since we’ve cruised the Staffs and Worcester, so it’s been nice to become reacquainted with it. We decided to stay yesterday as well. We have been a bit indecisive about where to go next – the plan was to carry on to Stourport, but as we have to hang around for a couple of weeks while our pram-hood canopy is made, we changed our plans and decided to head up the Shroppie as far as we can go before turning back again.
So this morning we set off from Gailey, heading for Autherley. It was a real trip down Memory Lane, as we bought our first boat from Otherton, just a mile or two back from Gailey, and out first mooring was at Hatherton Marina, which we passed this morning. All the time after we had set off, Rog said he had a feeling of depression as if we were heading home and had to go back to work! It’s strange how these feelings take a long time to leave you, and can be triggered so easily! He cheered up after we had passed though.
It’s still just a hole in the ground, filled with water, with minimal facilities! However, there are signs of a few electric points now, but the Elsan Disposal point is still just a foul-smelling manhole cover. We paid £60 a month to moor there back in 1999 (ish!) I’m sure that it would be much more these days.
A little further on we passed some children in double canoes – they were having a great time, and all stood up, saluted and shouted ‘Aye aye, Captain’ a we passed. It was lovely to see them enjoying themselves so much..
We negotiated the half-mile narrows of Pendeford Rockin’ without any trouble – Rog and I had a bet on how many boats we’d meet coming the other way – I said 4 and he said 2. We were both wrong – we didn’t meet any at all – that must be a first!!
We soon reached Autherley Junction and turned onto the Shroppie – another of our old haunts as readers who were following our blog this time last year will remember, as we did our Boat Handling course further north. Unfortunately we wont be able to go all the way to Market Drayton this year because of the stoppage at Shebdon Embankment.
We are now moored between bridges 7 and 8 just a short hop from Brewood (pronounced Brood). It’s a lovely spot, with views over the fields – pity the sun didn’t shine for very long! We may stay here tomorrow as well.