Thursday, 14 April 2011

Boat Spotting

With the chance of a few days afloat I took a morning train up to Stafford. The line crosses, or runs parallel to, the cut in a number of places and I always keep a sharp eye out for boats. The Wolverhampton flight was busy - I counted four boats on the move as we sped by and coming into Birmingham I spotted Shadow, with Halfie on board. I would have waved, but was worried about what the other passengers might think!
Once at Norbury I called in to pay Norbury Wharf for a service they'd done on my water heater (thus restoring hot water to Starcross for the first time since December!) after which it was time to set off for Wheaton Aston.
There has been a procession of working boats heading north up the Shroppie in recent days, on their way to the Easter Rally at Ellesmere Port. Empress was at Norbury Junction.
Just north of Gnosall I encountered "Monarch" with its butty "Grimsby", on which David Ray from Norbury Wharf was riding shotgun. They were being closely followed by Seaford and this time I was ready with the camera!
That evening I walked from Wheaton Aston to the nearby village of Marston to try and find the pub there shown on the OS map and in my (old) copy of Nicholson's. If anyone knows where it is - or where it used to be - please tell me because I couldn't find it! Still, it was a pleasant walk and a glorious sunset to enjoy on the way. Back at the Hartley Arms the guest beer was from one of my favourite breweries, so all ended well!

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