Thursday, 28 April 2011

The End

Stourport marks both the end of the Staffs & Worcester Canal, where it joins the River Severn, and the farthest point of our current trip. Hil having had to go back to Hereford to work, I took Starcross single-handed from Kinver, leaving before breakfast and tying up after an hour or so for a "full English", which I can appreciate much better after some time in the fresh air. One of the advantages of a busy canal for the solo boater is that there are always plenty of other people around to lend a hand with paddles and gates and, in fact, a combination of other crews and fortuitously-timed oncoming boats meant that I only had to stop and close the bottom gates once all day.
South of Whittington lock the canal, which has been in Staffordshire all the way from Great Haywood finally enters Worcestershire - the boundary being marked by this modern marker post.
Erected in 1999 but, unlike the canal, not wearing very well. Will it still be here in 200 years time?
Wolverley Court lock was being operated by a self-appointed volunteer lock keeper - one of several to be found in these parts - and at Kidderminster I met John, who was watching me lock through with his bike. "Have you cycled far?" I asked.  If it was the question he was hoping for he didn't show it, merely replying "I'm doing the End-to-End". Then I really made his day by assuming, when he said he'd set off five days ago, that he was heading north; but no, he come from John O' Groats in that time and was now "nearly finished"!
It took me another couple of hours to get to Stourport, by which time John was probably in Bristol or somewhere!
The approach to York Street Lock and Stourport Basin

1 comment:

Steve Heaven said...

How strange!
We also met a John o'Groats to Lands End cyclist at Kidderminster lock last year. Perhaps there's a long distant cyclists handbook that recommends it for rest stop !