Thursday, 5 November 2009

Leaf Soup and People Movers

Slowly to Stourport Part VII
Readers will have noticed that this blog is not written in "real time" and so won't be surprised when I say that we sacrificed an hour's lie-in in the morning by not putting our clocks back with the rest of the country so that we could make an early start without getting up any earlier (at least that was a plan that made sense when it was hatched late on Saturday night in the Plough and Harrow!) We had only half a day's boating in front of us and had to find somewhere to leave Starcross for a week. It had to be somewhere that we could get away from by bus while I went back to the office for a rest. Although time was tight I couldn't resist a brief pause at Hyde Lock to take this photo of the miniature lock gates guarding the entrance to the garden path of the lock cottage.
We struggled through the "leaves on the line" with frequent blasts into reverse to clear the prop. The leaves were worse here than on the Shroppie on the way down and at their very worst in the locks, where the reverse blast tactic didn't work so well. At one stage I thought we were going to have to bow-haul Starcross out of Stewpony lock which resembled a huge vat of leaf soup.

I'd identified Wombourne as a possible mooring spot whilst I was away as it has good bus links to Stourbridge and Wolverhampton and seemed a reasonably "safe" area and sure enough, the five-day visitor moorings at bridge 43 were ideal.
We tied up there late morning, next to another boat that appeared to have been left unattended and after lunch went our separate ways; Duncan to Wolverhampton for his train north and I on the Stourbridge bus and the quirky Stourbridge Town branch line railbus up to the Junction Station and the train home.
The Parry People Mover on its three
minute run between Stourbridge Town
and Stourbridge Junction (c) Parry People Mover Ltd

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