Late Saturday afternoon the rain stopped and the sun popped out, so we cruised on down to Tibberton and tied Oakfield up on the end of the long line of boats there. After a quiet nights sleep we continued on down. There were only twelve more locks spread out down to Worcester. We moored by bridge 5 and went into town for lunch and called into Asda on our return to the boat. Next day we carried on down to Worcs basin where we used our old BW card and had a good pump out lasting 16 minutes! With our water tank topped up we continued down Diglis Locks to moor out on the river.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
It was pretty noisy at the busy Queens Head pub as everyone was outside making the most of the evening sunshine. This is the second large Tepee we have seen, a very popular pub garden feature. We stopped for the services at Stoke Wharf where we saw ‘Duckingham Palace’, Further on Tony called out to us from his boat ‘Tilda’ to say that they follow our blog. While we filled with water I went back along for a chat and he kindly gave me a guided tour of their lovely boat with it’s glistening Gardner engine..
Next day we descended the 6 locks at Stoke, where top lock cottage a fantastic garden where I bought 1lb of runner beans, luvly jubbly. Then we descended 6 more at Astwood arriving at lunchtime at the junction with the Droitwich Canal. Luckily we were able to moor just outside the Eagle and Sun Pub. With very few shops along this canal we had run out of things for lunches so we dined in the pub. It is a 2-4-6-8 one. This being the price of their meals and very good they were too. Our two meals with drinks came to around a tenner, so we went again the next day as it was raining cats and dogs! Of course the hire boaters were on the move passing us by looking like drowned rats, poor things.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Again we were ready for a very early morning cruise to tackle the locks before it got too hot. It was all misty at 6.30am when we untied Oakfield. These are some of the impressions on the blue bricks lock side and an award on the lockkeepers cottage near the reservoir.
An all night fisherman was just packing all his equipment away into his tiny car as we passed the reservoir. The paddle gearing at the locks here runs more smoothly with a groove wheel to guide it up and down. Also the winding spigot allows left or right handed operation. We saw two people operating one together with their windlasses attached on either side. A brilliant idea if you have the crew for it!
We were on our own until we met a Vikings Afloat hire boat ascending which helped matters a bit. A girlie lockkeeper came up on her bike clearing the debris from the weirs en-route. She said ‘did I know that I should set the lock below before opening the paddles of the one we were in' as I was wasting water according to her. My reply was that how much extra walking distance that would be for me in addition to the 2 mile stretch? Two of the lock cottages seemed to be vying to see who had the biggest aerials. Apparently they can communicate worldwide. Anyway we arrived somewhat knackered at 11.15am to moor below the bottom lock having descended 217 feet in 30 plus degrees C, in 4 3/4 hrs phew!.
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Next day we caught the 146 into Redditch to visit the EE shop to pick up the Cabin Boys new phone and I get to have his old one, whoopee doodle do.
Alvechurch has a few fine buildings including a fab fish and chip shop. While in Redditch we went for coffee in W’s Royal Enfield which used to be an old Cinema. The cows came down to drink the brown stuff from the canal and keep us company morning and evening.
Tuesday we were off before 7am with not many boats on the move. Passing through the Guilotine Lock we turned left at Kings Norton Junction onto the Worcs Birmingham Canal. However we did meet a hire boat in Wast Hill Tunnel who didn’t seem to know which side to pass us on until we shouted out. They were translating to the steerer what to do and managed to bump us in the process! Emerging from the tunnel we had picked up a plank of wood and branch of a tree across the bow. We slowed down and went into reverse for me to poke it out of the way. There always seems to be an abundance of floating objects around this tunnel. Five hours from when we set off we were moored up in Alvechurch, hurrah!
My afternoon stroll took me down to The boatyard to buy the Cabin Boy a new lump hammer for banging in the mooring rope pins. He had flung one in the canal with gay abandon and left one behind on the towpath somewhere! There were about 50 chaps working on doubling up two miles of railway tracks through Alvchurch Station. The two nifty little yellow machines can pick up a long length of track and transport it along into position. In the field opposite were some cows with fearsome looking horns!