Thursday, 15th May
|AreandAre at The Bratch|
We arrived at the bottom of The Bratch locks this morning at the same time as a downhill boat arrived at the top, but the locks were empty - and therefore in our favour - which meant that the lockie let us through first. Although I've been through many times, this unique not-quite-a-staircase flight is always fascinating. The lock-keeper helped with the bottom gates and as he asked me to leave the top paddles open, presumably ready for the downhill boat, getting through wasn't exactly hard work and we were soon at the top and away.
At Dimmingsdale Wharf we met the community trip boat "Ernest Thomas II" operated by volunteers and providing day trips for community groups. Today's trip was for residents of a local care home and included three people in wheelchairs. An excellent operation bringing pleasure to the passengers and, no doubt, to the volunteers who make it work. They then winded and followed us back towards Compton and were planning on taking their passengers up to Alddersley Junction and back before returning them to Castlecroft.
Compton was the end of the line for us though, or at least for me, as my time on AreandAre was up and I had to leave Barry there and get a bus into Wolverhampton and a train home. It'll be a quick turn round though as tomorrow I'll be back on the tracks heading south again, this time for Swansea and an event that has more to do with the "Buses" side of this blog's new title.