Sunday, 30 June 2013

To Tyrley.

IMG_3604 Norbury IMG_3608 IMG_3611

After a couple of lovely sunny days spent painting, reclining on the bank reading and eating Strawberries and Cream, our time was up. I also managed to get the boat washed all over with Autoglim Shampoo before the sun got too hot. We left early at 8am so that we could moor up at Tyrley before the rain set in. We think this is one of the many volunteers who keep the ‘Shropie’ in such good order. He spent the previous day painting the other water tap and the picnic benches around the basin. As we cruised along the bridges seemed to get higher! You can see the scale of them by the boats that are approaching underneath. It is so narrow through Grub Street and Woodseaves Cuttings.  One clever boater kindly waited in a wide part for us to slowly edge past him.

IMG_3609 IMG_3607 IMG_3605

Along the way we saw a nice old car hiding in the woodland, also a guard cat, and dog keeping watch from their boats.  A freak little gust of wind blew the steerer’s Tilly hat off, plop into the canal. Luckily the chap on the following boat saw what happened and managed to scoop it up and hand it over as he overtook us, phew! Even though our journey was delayed by passing many permanently moored boats on tick-over, we managed to get tied up above the locks at Tyrley before the rain started, luvly jubbly!

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Norbury Junction.

IMG_3588                   IMG_3589 Fuel 76.9p

Our next stop was at the very busy Norbury Junction on the 48hr moorings with rings and a concrete edging. This was very convenient for touching up the paintwork on the other side of our boat. Some rust spots had developed making the paint blister up around the side hatch hinges. So I scraped this all down to the metal, sanded it, then treated it with rustproof primer.

IMG_3600 IMG_3590 IMG_3592

As the sun had been switched on again we went up to the Old Wharf Tearoom for morning coffee. The sparrows and ducks came to surround our table as we sat outside to see if we had any food morsels for them. This cat was furtively creeping through the long grass, then I heard an awful racket which turned out to be a Peahen. Suddenly the savage creature tore across the grass and chased the cat away through a gap in the hedge!

IMG_3594                         IMG_3602

Nearby this was one of five giant stones that were placed around the locality forming a millennium trail in the year A.D 2000.  They were glacier boulders deposited hereabouts at the end of the last ice age about 10 millennia ago.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Gnosall Heath.

IMG_3583 Gnosall IMG_3584

Oakfield was moored up between The Boat Inn B34 and and The Navigation by B35. wee took a circular walk across one bridge to return across the other one. 

IMG_3587 IMG_3585 AC Cobra

En-route this lovely car was being shown off on the garage forecourt, an Ac Cobra. Wouldn’t mind a spin in that down some country lanes now. We found several nice little shops selling a variety of things, among them strawberries and cream which I just couldn’t resist. On our return to our boat Jaquie and Calli, (nb Timewarp) came strolling by, so we had a chat about where we had all been since we last met.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wheaton Aston.

 IMG_3562 IMG_3561IMG_3559

Then we cruised on along to moor above the lock at Wheaton Aston in a nice quiet open spot. Time to catch up with creating our blog as we are rather behind with it all. The next day we paused to top up with water after-which we filled with Red Deisel at Turners Garage by the bridge paying 73.9p per litre, perfick!

IMG_3563 IMG_3566 IMG_3569

Sunny, warm and calm, what more could you ask for, so the shorts came out again! With all the doors open the washing dried nicely while we cruised along.

IMG_3574 IMG_3573 Cowley Tunnel IMG_3580

Through the very short Cowley Tunnel with a boat following very close behind us all the while. Yes those are real little yellow ducklings in the foreground! What a beautiful day!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013


IMG_3548 Narrows.

After a dull wet uneventful weekend we left for Autherley on the outskirts of Wolverhampton. This is one of the so-called narrows hereabouts, where two boats cannot  easily pass one another. So I walked ahead to warn oncoming boats of our approach. Luckily there were two just waiting to enter under the bridge, so they kindly  waited there for us to emerge. Then there was a row of sodden fishermen using long poles and they weren’t happy because of the all the boat movements in both directions and people walking the towpath. This meant they had to keep withdrawing their rods for everyone to pass. One of them did not, and as I was at the front of Oakfield I called to him as we didn’t want to damage his expensive pole, which caused much verbal grumpiness! At Autherley Junction we turned right through the stop-lock which raises your boat up six inches onto the Shropshire Union Canal. We moored up before Bridge 2 so that we could stock up on food from the nearby Morrison’s.

What a change from last week when we were cruising along with the pussy-willow fluff drifting over us in the warm air and falling on the canal like snow. So we are doing the ‘okee-koakee’ with the summer and winter clobber. Shorts on, shorts off, shake them all about. Sunny for a bit, then turning grey and being pelted with wind and rain alternately! It can’t last much longer like this, can it?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013



We left early to cruise up the six locks to moor at Coven for the weekend, passing “Thomas the Tug” en-route.

IMG_3542 Gailey

Once up the last lock at Gailey we paused for a coffee break and look-around in the Roundhouse Canal Shop.

          IMG_3546                 IMG_3544

There is just room here opposite the hire boats moored two-abreast, for passing boats to stop briefly to use the services etc, so it gets somewhat congested at times. Do you think the pollard Willow looks a bit like an outstretched hand?

Monday, 24 June 2013


IMG_3537 Deptmoor LockThe next morning was hot and sunny as we started off spotting several Buzzards soaring quite high up. In the garden of Deptmoor Lock Cottage someone was reconstructing the little brick Bothy. At Shutt Hill Lock the Community Payback Team were painting the lock-gear, also sweeping and tidying the all area around it. Their supervisor  kindly helped us with the lock.

IMG_3540 Park Gate B90We moored below Teddesley Park Lock and nipped in for a few items from the Midland Chandlers.  After queuing in the limited space below Penkridge Lock we were able to moor just above it. Later on I went down to the Market where there was an awful din as they were auctioning off Hens, Ducks, Guinea Fowl and Turkey etc. I sauntered around the various stalls there, but only bought some Eccles Cakes, the skippers favourite! I also called in to the excellent Jasper’s bakers shop for a few items. The following day we had lunch in The Boat Inn, then walked up the towpath for a drink at The Cross Keys where we just sat outside watching the boats go by.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Great Haywood.

 IMG_3525 Gt Haywood Gt Haywood                               IMG_3515 breakfast  Oakkfield was moored above the last lock before the junction. Early the next morning I strolled past the Canada Geese having their breakfast, then on up to the farm shop for some of that nice Focacia bread. The poor Heron didn't seem to be having much luck catching a meal, as he flew off every time someone passed by.

IMG_3527                              IMG_3528

The next day we set off to fill with water, then reversed back onto the wharf for a pump out at £16. We had left the Trent+Mersey and were now on the Staffs+Worcs Canal when we saw yet another sunken plastic boat. You can’t help thinking that they would be better on rivers than canals with hard edging and locks to negotiate!

 IMG_3530 Tixall Lock          IMG_3532

It was such a beautifully warm sunny day, so I had front doors and side hatches open for a blow-through drying all the washing. Tixall Wide was full of boats, most of them were drying washing, polishing or painting their boats making the most of the good weather. On up through Tixall Lock with the recently renovated cottage alongside and under the turnover Milford bridge No 105 to moor at Baswich.

Saturday, 22 June 2013


    IMG_3498 IMG_3502

We found a space by the derelict old mill where the Sparrows were nesting in the holes and the moorhen came along for a rest on an overhanging branch. The mill and cottages are up for sale, if you are interested, a snip at £1,2 million!

      IMG_3493                            IMG_3507

Our freezer was now empty and out of action because we think the thermostat has packed up. So it was off to Wetherspoon for Sunday roast and a couple of pints, perfick! Then we bought a few things in Morrison's that we could store in the fridge and some fresh vegetables etc.

Thursday, 20 June 2013


IMG_3481 Brereton   IMG_3482

We set off early again next morning up the three locks to moor at Brereton by Spode Hall, Hawksyard. This little cruiser, with a hint of canal boat at the back, was moored opposite us. Note the horrid name chosen for it. Who would want to give their boat a name like this? Again we managed to settle down inside Oakfield before another big storm began.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Animal encounters.

       IMG_3455                 IMG_3458

This little dog was stretched out sunning itself in the estate agents window in Whittington.

       IMG_3468                IMG_3469

The guard-cat Growl-tiger was sat on the bow of his boat on duty. He prowled along the gunnels keeping an eye on us as we passed, with a savage look on his face.

    IMG_3461   IMG_3327

Hide and seek cat.                               Siesta time for me and my mum.