Friday 27th August
Last night we treated ourselves to a Thai meal from Foodshion Garden Chinese & Thai Restaurant Takeaway, they were quite happy to deliver to the boat and I met the driver by the adjacent Betton Road bridge. It was a tasty meal but as always more than we could eat.
This morning we planned an early start hoping to get through Tyrley Locks and Woodseaves Cutting before anyone else was about, unfortunately others had the same idea and we had at least two boats ahead of us, despite leaving at 7:30.
The one immediately ahead was a Countrywide Cruisers hire boat and their crew kindly drew paddles to empty the first couple of locks for us, these are the ones with fierce by-washes.
The first lock went well, but on entering the second the engine stopped dead and we had to drift in. Inspection revealed a large log wedged between the propeller and the rudder, I couldn’t move it so we worked the boat through the lock with the help of a kindly passing boater (and his dog) and pulled it out with our ropes. On tying up outside the lock the log dropped out easily! It turned out that our guardian angel knew ‘our’ area of Gloucestershire well and had a friend living in Charfield.
The rest of the five locks were negotiated without trouble and we got through the cutting, only meeting one boat. At a couple of places it looked like another landslide could occur at any time.
Along the way we noticed quite a number of Sumac trees, which I’ve not seen growing in the wild elsewhere, but recognised as there was one in Granddad Hoddinott’s farmhouse garden.
We passed Knighton Wharf again and our original plan was to stop at the Anchor again, but it was still early so we delayed our breakfast stop until Goldstone Wharf, where we cooked bacon & eggs with black pudding & homegrown tomatoes.
Off we went again past the miles of linear moorings and were amused by this little man encouraging boaters to pass slowly.
We stopped at Norbury Wharf for water and a visit to the chandlery to buy some fender rope.
We found a mooring opposite The Boat Inn at Gnosall again at 3:00pm and settled ourselves in. A respectable 13½ miles today.
Saturday 28th August
After our journey yesterday we gave ourselves a day off and in the morning, while Joy watched cooking programmes on TV I visited the village shop and in the afternoon and evening we watched films as neither of us felt very energetic.
Tyseley, the Mikron Theatre’s boat passed by, it was good to see them able to be out performing again, but sadly we have missed their performance at Stourport.
Sunday 29th August
After finding the milk in my morning tea was ‘off’ another walk to the shop was necessary for some fresh milk, scones and strawberries and by 9:30am we were away. Through Cowley Tunnel and in a couple of hours we tied up at Wheaton Aston and cooked ourselves breakfast or was it brunch? Our first lock of the day followed.
We soon encountered a fishing competition which stretched for what must have been three miles, most of the fishermen were quite affable (I don’t think the competition had officially started yet)
Just to prove the Shroppie isn’t all cuttings & trees
By 2:00pm we were at Brewood, too early to stop for the day we decided so on we went to Autherley Junction where we rose 6 inches through the stop lock back onto our home canal The Staffs & Worcs
[Staffordshire & Worcestershire in case you can’t figure it out]
Another hour and we were descending Compton Lock watched by two Asian family groups, the second group were delighted to help opening the lockgates and with the cherry tomatoes I gave them for their help.
We moored just below the lock but forgetting it was Sunday I was disappointed that Peps Plaice was closed so their orange chips will have to wait until tomorrow (shh, don’t tell Joy!)
Almost 8 hours boating today and 15 miles.