Saturday, 14 February 2015

Back on the Shroppie and into the Dark

Thursday, 5th February

No ice this morning and noticeably warmer. Having missed out on a visit to Kinver yesterday, we now had some spare time before being due back at Gailey at 10.00am tomorrow, so I suggested a side trip up the Shroppie.

We left Compton at 8.45 and were soon at Autherley Junction. When I kept Starcross at Norbury Jc I found that no matter how perfectly I managed the turn under the bridge at the junction off the Staffs & Worcs there was almost always a boat either in the lock or, worse still, emerging from it, which meant I had to reverse out and try again.  No problems today though, although once on the Shropshire Union we came across more moving boats than we'd seen all week.

It was a shame we didn't have time to go all the way up to Norbury Junction, because as soon as we left Autherley behind I began to realise that the Shroppie was still my favourite waterway. I know the long straights can be boring for the steerer, but they do give it  a sense of purpose and, unlike many canals, the hedgerows have not been allowed to get out of control so you can still enjoy some great views across the countryside.

We had time to go as far as Brewood where, after winding the boat, we tied-up on the visitor moorings for lunch and a walk into the village, calling in at the Swan so that Steve could take advantage of the wifi (and we  could both take advantage of the fact that it also sells beer!). One of the conditions of use of Twelfth of Never is that it is returned in a fit and tidy state for the next users. Some syndicates apparently employ the boatyard to take care of this, but in ToN's case it's down to each owner to do so, so before we set off Steve and Pete washed down the outside of the boat, whilst I took the photos to prove they'd done it! 
The evidence, m'lud
We wanted to get most of the way back to Gailey by nightfall, whilst still leaving a little bit of boating for the last morning. It was still light when we reached Cross Green, so we pressed on, aiming for Hatherton Junction. This turned out to be just a little bit too far as it was getting dark by the time we approached  and I made a mess of the last bend by trying to take it too quickly. There was no harm done though and, Pete having volunteered to cook a meal we spent the last night of the trip on board.

1 comment:

Halfie said...

Your photo caption could alternatively read "The evidence: mud"!