Yesterday we made the short journey to Autherley Junction and our 9th canal in less than 6 weeks. We made a short stop at Bridge 2 to go to Morrison’s to top up the cupboards, and then through the stop lock, turning to port onto the Staffs and Worcs. This is the second part of our old stomping grounds. Having been distinctly underwhelmed at the lack of towpath maintenance on the Macc and the Shroppie, the S & W is even worse! In most places the towpath is at least waist height in grass and weeds, and sometimes even shoulder height!
We came through Pendeford Rockin’ without meeting any other boats, thank goodness
There is some serious road and bridge widening going on here
Hatherton Marina where we used to moor our old boat, nb Teasel
We were by this time being pursued by some very black clouds, so we decided that it was time to moor up and batten down the hatches. We ended up mooring amongst some bridge-hoppers, but, needs must. Just in time, it turned out as the heavens opened shortly afterwards and it rained heavily all afternoon and well into the early evening.
This morning the weather didn’t look too hopeful, but it has been better than expected. I waded through the undergrowth along the towpath as I walked Ozzy, feeling a bit like Dr Livingstone. I forgot my to put my camera in my pocket this morning, so there are no photos while I was being intrepid! Today has been a day of spaced out locks, the first being Gailey, with it’s iconic Round House. As usual, I couldn’t pass it by without going in and buying something, although this time it was just a couple of postcards.
Several more locks, and we were passing Otherton Boat Haven, where we bought nb Teasel, our first boat, so long ago now that neither of us remember exactly when!
A few more locks and we were into Penkridge. We briefly considered mooring and going to the Market, but as we didn’t really need anything, it was decided that it was too long a trek to get there just for a wander round. Yet another few locks and we were through Acton Trussell, and looking for a mooring spot. And, wonder of wonders, it had recently been mowed and strimmed. Very recently as it happens – the mower and strimmer has just come back along the towpath and blown 10 tons of cut grass through the open side hatch into the boat – and I’ve only just hoovered up the last lot of hay that we collected on out trip down the Shroppie!
Our very rural mooring for tonight – even though the houses of Acton Trussell are still visible behind us
Yesterday - 9 miles and 1 lock
Today - 7.8 miles and 10 locks