Wednesday, 17 November 2010

All Quiet on the Shroppie

Keeping the fire in all night is a dark art - and one I haven't completely mastered, so I woke up to a pretty cold boat this morning. The early morning mist and sunshine to come outside soon made up for it, however.
Converted working boat "Battersea" at Norbury Junction
I had a shipping order for Norbury Wharf! Two bags of coal, a new gas bottle and 100 litres of diesel (62p a litre propulsion). They allow you to choose your own split for tax purposes here, so as it was winter I declared 30% for propulsion at the higher rate, and 70% "domestic" at the lower, which reduced the cost somewhat. Of course, this means I should only use 30 of those litres for moving the boat, except of course when I'm using some of the other 100 litres already in the tank that I bought at the "recommended" split of 60/40!

Despite being a lovely sunny day I had the Shroppie almost to myself as I headed south. I say "almost" because I did have to share it with one boat - not that it got in my way at all.
Canoeist on the Shroppie, near Gnosall
Gnosall was as far as I was going and after lunch I set off to explore some of the local footpaths. We normally pass straight through here on longer trips, so this was an opportunity to discover the country nearer home. 
Boaters on the Shroppie probably think there is nothing special about Bridge 31 - just one of many accommodation bridges built to connect farm land bisected when the canal was built. Look at it from the walkers point of view though:
An additional parapet wall runs along the centre of the bridge! Note that one side is gated and the other open. What makes this curious is that on either approach there is only one track - the way dividing merely to cross the bridge. There must be a story to this, I think.
As well as country walks, Gnosall also has two good canalside pubs. The Boat Inn is perhaps the better known and this is what it looked like from the outside as I made my way over for a post-walk pint!
Retirement? -  I could get to like it!

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