Thursday, 8 September 2016

Back Home

Change of plans - we went home on Tuesday in one go rather than staying out another night.

So that's our travelling for the time being - more news when we go out again.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Great Haywood and the Trent & Mersey

Bricks missing from the Sow Aqueduct

Boats moored at Great Haywood Junction
The dark, damp, drizzly and generally unpleasant morning delayed our departure until 11am when the clouds began to lighten a little.  Fortunately the weather improved as we travelled the remaining 4 miles and 1 lock to Great Haywood where the Staffs & Worcs Canal joins the Trent & Mersey.  Passing over the aqueduct over the River Sow we were disappointed to see that there were even more bricks missing than we had seen earlier this year.  I am not sure whether people steal them or they are knocked off by passing boats.  I will report this to CRT.

At the lock, Tixall Lock, there were unusually 2 hireboats ahead of us waiting to descend.  One was crewed by a group of Swedes out on the second day of their first ever canal boat holiday and the other by a Dutch couple. 

When we eventually reach Great Haywood it was lunch time and we were due to descend a further two locks in the next mile or so we moored up to eat with the intention of moving on afterwards.  However as usually happens we never summoned the enthusiasm to move on.  So here we stayed.  After all it doenst matter if we take an extra day getting home.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

North from Penkridge

Teddesley Bridge near Penkridge - built for a driveway to Teddesley House, demolished in 1954.
 After the heavy rains of yesterday it was a dry day today so we left Penkridge at 9:30, stopping off to fill up with water, and then down the locks travelling north. An unexpected number of boats on the move resulted in most locks being set in our favour and in many cases we didnt need to close the gates on leaving as there were boats waiting to come up.

We moored at Baswich at lunchtime near where a local group has started excavating an old waterway into Stafford with a view to restoration.  So we had a quick look around the site and then returned to the warmth of the boat.  Research on Google came up with the information that the canal was built in the 1810's and by the 1920's had become derelict and was filled in.  Until the excavations there was virtually nothing to show that the canal had once existed.

Statistics - 6.16m, 5 locks in 3hours 15 mins

Friday, 2 September 2016


We only travelled during the morning, starting when the rain stopped at 9:30 and mooring at Penkridge at lunchtime.  If we leave on Sunday we should be back home as planned on Tuesday.   Saturday is forecast to be pretty wet so it seem sensible not to move then anyway.

This evening we will be eating out at the Littleton Arms at Penkridge where the food has been good on previous occasions.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Homeward bound on the Staffs & Worcs

 We are now on our way home.  We do not want to arrive back on Monday as our marina is closed which means we cannot empty the waste tank and refill with petrol, so Tuesday it must be.  After all our work in the past few days this gives us a highly welcome leisurely journey of no more than 3 hours travelling each day.

The first of today's activities was to empty our waste tank as we cant last until Tuesday of next week.  The pumpout point is on the Shropshire Union Canal just off the Staffordshire & Worcestershire. So we went through the stop lock separating the two canals, got the tank emptied for £20, the highest charge we have ever met, and then skilfully reversed the boat back into and through the lock to return to the Staffs & Worcs.

Narrow cutting on the Staffs & Worcs
Then we were on our way cruising in bright sunshine down this familiar but attractive canal for the next 2.5 hours, finally mooring out in the countryside in time for lunch.  The picture shows Densie travelling through a cutting on the Staffs & Worcs which is only wide enough for one boat, though there are a couple of passing places.  Brindley's route took the canal through an area of very hard rock so the canal was built narrower there presumably to reduce costs.