Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Starcross on an earlier visit to Penkridge

Until such time as I can give up work and devote more of my time to Starcross and the cut I can only undertake longer trips in stages, travelling for a week, or even a weekend, at a time and leaving the boat to return to work in-between. This means looking for a "safe" place to leave Starcross for a week or more. Marinas are one option - and I have used them - but I resent paying well over the odds to occupy a berth that the owners are almost certainly already charging an absent boater for. So I'm always on the lookout for safe towpath moorings. Safety isn't the only consideration of course - there's also access. Even if I do choose to use the car to get to the boat there's still the problem of getting back to pick it up, so public transport access is important. It also helps if the chosen spot has easy access to shops to enable me to stock up on needed items rather than carrying them all the way from home.

So, when I was looking for somewhere to leave Starcross in between Stone, on the Trent & Mersey and Norbury Junction, on the Shropshire Union, Penkridge was the obvious choice. The town has a station, served by frequent trains from Birmingham and Crewe, equally frequent buses to Stafford, Wolverhampton and Cannock, a large Co-Op supermarket (in the main street - not "out of town") as well as an excellent bakers shop. On the canal, there's a sanitary station at the town lock and, below the lock, some excellent, unrestricted, moorings that are overlooked on both sides (for security) and even have a couple of (legally) permanently moored craft to create a "presence".

Last but not least, the town has some excellent pubs, even though the inn sign on "The Boat" is a little optimistic as to the size of vessel one can expect to encounter on the Staffs & Worcs. Canal!

So I was quite happy to leave Starcross here for a week knowing she'd be waiting safely for me on my return, which she was.

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