Monday, 21 May 2012

God Speed the Plough

When speaking to other boaters heading for Droitwich I was surprised at how many of them were planning their itinerary so as to avoid stopping in Worcester. One of them even said to me that the moorings there were not at all suitable for an overnight stay. Quite a few boaters seem to have this antipathy towards urban areas but all I can say is that the two nights I spent in Worcester were pleasant, quiet and trouble-free and when I returned to Starcross on the Blockhouse moorings after three days in south Wales I found her just as I'd left her.

Mark, my crew member for the next stage of the trip, arrived today at 14.00 off the train from Oxford. Despite an earlier idea that we might spend a night in the city, when he got to the boat he was keen to set off and make the most of his time on board. As large urban areas go the route out of Worcester is quite pleasant with a few landmarks such as the iconic railway viaduct at Lowesmoor that really needs a GWR Castle and a rake of chocolate-and-cream carriages to complete it.
Lowesmoor Railway Viaduct
At Bilford the canal passes through a modern industrial estate where this wharf looks for all the world as if the next loaded boat will arrive at any minute
Bilford Wharf
The Worcester and Birmingham Canal is still very quiet, with just a few hire boats and timeshares on the move and we had the locks almost to ourselves all the way to Offerton Top, although we did meet a single-hander who had started from Tardebigge, the best part of 50 locks away, this morning in a boat ironically called "Slo-Motion"
Offerton Locks
Our destination for the day was Tibberton, where we are now on the visitor moorings surrounded by hire-boats one of which made a spectacular attempt at mooring; aiming originally for a point at the far end of the moorings but ending up almost on top of us!  Later we'll be off down to the "God Speed the Plough" to see if it's the unspoiled village local I remember from my last visit here five years ago.

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