Saturday, 20 September 2014

Cruising on up.

IMG_7531 Debdale Lock IMG_7532 IMG_7534 WALa

This canal passes through some beautiful countryside, tall cool woodland and interesting sandstone cuttings. A boat was exiting Debdale Lock which enabled us to glide straight. We were helped up through by a chap who looked official, but was not a Canal and River Trust volunteer. We then went on to moor in front of nb What a Lark just below Whittington Lock.

IMG_7536 Kinver IMG_7537 IMG_7543 Hyde Lock

It was a nice quiet night here so we slept well, then we were up early next morning and away. We paused at Kinver to empty and fill tanks, then sat of the railway sleeper bench to have our elevensies. The horse tunnels and circular spill weirs are great features on the Staffs & Worcs Canal too. The cottage beside Hyde Lock, with the mini lock gates into the garden, is for sale.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Kidderminster.

IMG_7523 Kidderminster   IMG_7528   IMG_7529

Didn’t stop at the lovely Water Mill Pub, but carried on past the old carpet weaving quarter which covered both sides of the canal. The area has now been completely taken over with the usual large superstores. Once out of Kinver Lock we stopped on the popular moorings outside Sainsbury’s overnight. The Cabin Boy bought engine oil at the nearby Halfords and it came with free oil absorption matts ( usually a tenner each ) luvly jubbly! From there it is a short walk into town to peruse the shops. You can’t help thinking that all the new superstores had ruined the trade of the smaller shopkeepers, as many had closed down.

IMG_7541 cuddley Chudley   IMG_7535   IMG_7538

En-route we made friends with cuddly ‘Chuddley’, sniffed a beautiful rose, and spied a small village of little toadstools.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Stourport walkabout.

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The main street was bustling with shoppers, with a continuous stream of traffic passing through as well. We ambled through it all down to the iron bridge spanning the Severn then along the more tranquil riverside path running up towards Bewdley. The path is well maintained with plenty of seats and littler bins en-route. Just past Lickhill Manor Caravan park we turned back. Families were going for river trips in the small motor boats that were for hire. We were surprised that non of them seemed to carry any safety equipment, not even a life ring!

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There was a large car park one side of the huge unused river dock and on the opposite side was Treasure Island Amusement Park. Lots of squealing and laughter attracted us in for a look around. There were pirates, big model zoo animals, dinosaurs, dragons and fish with sharp teeth. which people were posing with to take photos. Apart from the Big Wheel, Helter Skelter, Dodgems, Gallopers, there were also two more scary rides. Also the usual ‘one arm bandits’ and slot machines of course. A few smaller rides and slides were around the corner for the tiny tots to ride on. So this was the popular Danters Fairground which is open all year round.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Onto the Staffs and Worcs Canal.

IMG_7491 Eva May  IMG_7492 River King  IMG_7493 Stourport Lock

We had to wait for the trip boat River King to slowly turn around in front of us mid-stream. No blasts on the horn to indicate his intentions to us or the narrow boat coming down though! Once we were out of Lincomb Lock we cruised on to the pontoon on the river where I jumped off to walk around to prepare the lock for Oakfield to enter.

IMG_7494 Calabash  IMG_7496 Stourport  IMG_7499

Oakfield passed up through the two very deep staircase locks which leaked like a gushing waterfall all over our bow. Someone was busy giving nb Calabash a good wash on it’s mooring over in the Barge Basin. We paused for water in the main basin, then went on up through York Street Lock with the sweet little cafe beside it.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Worcester to Stourport.

IMG_7482 Worcs  IMG_7485  IMG_7483

On arrival the free moorings were all taken on the pontoons above Diglis River Lock so we carried on up to Worcester Boat Club/Racecourse moorings. We were too tired to carry on, or even walk down to the car park to pay the required £4 per day. So we had an evening meal followed by an early night. Setting off at 8 am the river was completely calm and cruising was such a pleasure especially when the sun peeped through the clouds.

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There were many riverside residences to drool over along the banks, including timber framed cottages and park homes, some of which were on ‘stilts’ as a flood precaution. Some old interesting boats were moored outside Stourport Marina too.