Monday, 1 November 2010

Autumn Colours and a Meeting at Norbury

Saturday 30th October: Market Drayton to Norbury
After a "day off" yesterday in Market Drayton it was back to base at Norbury Junction to catch the open day at Norbury Wharf and the "end of season" party!
It was surely too nice a day to be considered the end of the boating season! The sun shone, the sky was clear and the autumn colours along the cut were superb.
Autumn on the Shroppie, near Knighton

The events at Norbury Wharf had attracted a number of visiting historic working boats such as Minnow
The end-of-season party took place in a big marquee erected on the wharf and featured entertainment in the form of folk-rock group Meet On The Ledge (an appropriately named band as anyone who has tried tying-up along the Shroppie cut will realise!) as well as a hog roast and a couple of real ales from black-country breweries Enville and Holden's. As I don't normally spend much time at Norbury Wharf itself when on Starcross it was a good way to get to know some of the other local boaters, such as Mark and friends from narrowboat Mawddach, and it was great to meet up again with Sue and Vic from No Problem, who are at Norbury at the moment for some work on their boat, and to swap tales of the year's boating.
Meet on the Ledge at Norbury Wharf

So ended the first trip of the new "retirement" era. Still a bit more rushed than it should have been, with deadlines to keep, but very enjoyable all the same. A balance of single-handed and "crew assisted" boating, showing the advantages and disadvantages of each. The relative lack of stoppages on the southern Shroppie and neighbouring canals this winter means that it won't be too long before I'm out again, although I will try and avoid trying to get back to Hereford on a Sunday after my experiences this time.

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