Monday, 5 July 2010

The Journey Home Begins

Braunston to Stockton Brook
After a somewhat leisurely journey to Braunston, spread over six days I had to get Starcross back to Norbury in just three. Of course, having come out via the relatively flat and easy route via Great Haywood, Fradley, Fazeley and Hawkesbury Jc I had to go back via the much more heavily-locked route down the Avon valley, back up again at Hatton, up to Birmingham and back down from Wolverhampton before regaining the lock-free section of the Shroppie to Norbury. Fortunately, for this journey I had a crew!
Hugh and I gained a little advantage by leaving Bruanston after the day's events on Saturday and made it as far as Stockton Brook before stopping for the night. Although it was late when we stopped we weren't the last boat on the move as three Willow Wren hire boats arrived about 21.30 each carrying part of a youth group and having come from the company's Rugby base that day.
On a winter trip in the 1970s an emergency stoppage on the Stockton flight meant we had to spend an hour or two in the Boat Inn at the top of the locks, where I drank probably the best pint of beer (Draught Bass) I've ever had. So good, in fact, that the work was completed and the canal re-opened long before we left the pub.
Well, the Boat Inn no longer sells Bass and the pub has, of course, changed out of all recognition but it still sells a decent pint, although the pub trade is obviously suffering and on a Saturday night the place was almost deserted.
The Boat Inn, Stockton Brook


Adam said...

I'm sure this pub survives purely on OwnerShips trade -- Thursday evening is busy with crews coming to the end of their holidays, and Friday lunchtime with people waiting for their boat to be ready. Lets hope the failure of OS doesn't have too much impact on The Boat.

Travelling in No Direction said...

Hi Jim. Sorry we missed each other on Saturday, I was on Raymond in the first picture on your last log but out of sight. Thats Edward on the tiller of Nutfield, Brian paddling the Butty rudder like mad and Richard on the shaft, I am keeping out of the way in front of Raymonds cabin. Maybe next year.

Brian and Diana on NB Harnser said...

We met the 3 Willow boats around Barby and I asked them where they intended to moor as I was going to tell them Braunston was full. I was a bit surprised when they said Stockton and I estimated it would be late evening before they arrived.
The Boat has recently changed managment and they have now installed mooring on the off side, so they are trying to attrach boaters. Ownerships were only one day a week

Starcross said...

Sorry I missed you too. I passed your boat a couple of times but there was no one aboard. Maybe next year - if not before!

Lets hope the new management make a go of it. Its a good pub and still sells very good beer.