Tuesday we descended the 15 locks of the Lapworth flight passing under the hydraulically operated lift bridge at Hockley Heath. This was easy to operate, unlike the next one which required Bottles muscles to pump it up fast. We were surprised to encounter a helmsman wearing his kilt, very nice it was too!
We arrived at Kingswood Junction/Lapworth to make full use of the services there. The Severn and Thames boat ‘Sabrina’ fired up his lovely Kelvin engine and kindly made room for us by sliding back to turn to go on his way north. This is one of our favourite places to moor, but it is rather noisy with the trains thundering over the nearby bridge. We visited the local shop and Post Office which is unusually situated in an Off Licence! We also saw the Boot Inn, although it looked nice, we saved a great deal of money by not going in there.
This is the holiday boat ‘Jameson’ waiting for our little convoy of three boats to emerge from Shrewley Tunnel before he enters. We had another lovely sunny day cruising along to Hatton Top Lock where we moored overnight. Of course we had to pop down to the busy little cafe there for our lunch as the food is mostly locally sourced, freshly made and also very delicious.
We decided to make an early start this morning as rain was forecast for later in the day. To our surprise we were greeted at the top lock by Alan and Pauline who were waiting to help their friends Keith and Bernie on their boat going down the locks. This was absolutely great to have a team of six to lock down the boats together as there are 21 locks in all.
Rufus the black Labrador looked keen to help, but sat and watched the proceedings in safety from his seat of the semi trad. We set up a cracking pace between us and completed the locks in 2 1/4 hours, spurred on with tea and coffee made by Bernie half way down. Thank you for all your help, it was nice to chat as we went along and made the time whiz by.
How lucky can we be, although it rained quite heavily during the night we had a dry run down, then the sun showed itself. We passed B51 which is the entrance to the Saltisford Arm, to moor up further down near The Cape, Warwick.