Monday, 5 May 2014

Four Counties Ring Day 17, Handover at Woodend

Sunrise at Woodend, 5.30am. Won't be the same with HS2.

Early morning at Woodend
Having moored up above Woodend Lock in the dark, we got up mega-early in order to get the boat ready for Elaine and Bryan, but first we had to get it through the lock in 'stealth mode' to avoid disturbing the Woodend Cottage residents.

Had left the car at Woodend. Drove Sue to Lichfield Parkway station, then boat induction for Elaine and Bryan down to Fradley Junction.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Four Counties Ring Day 16, Penkridge back to Woodend

The final leg back to Woodend. A bit of a rush, but never mind.

Probably the M6 bridge between bridges 88 and 89

Oh dear. Not sure what happened here

At Tixall Lock

Old Hill Bridge, No. 107

Time for a dog walk at Tixall Wide

Tixall Wide

Approaching Great Haywood Junction

Great Haywood Junction

No comment

Back through Rugeley again, past the spot where we had moored for the night on the way 'up'

Couldn't resist the 'two for one' dinner offer at The Ash Tree at bridge 62
Determined to get back to Woodend after the pub visit, although it was getting 'seriously dark'. Unfortunately the headlamp bulb had failed, ooops. Had to use the torch on the final approach to Woodend.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Four Counties Ring Day 15, Brewood to Penkridge

Another stroll around Brewood in the morning. Couldn't resist buying some plants at a splendidly arranged 'shop' on someone's front patio. Payment was through a money slot in the front door.

Plant 'shop' at Brewood

Then onwards to the southern 'tip' of our cruise at Autherley Junction.

Autherley Junction

Autherley Junction

Autherley Junction

Time for another 'rabbit run' (plus customary shop at the nearby Morrison's)

Viking Afloat boat hire at Gailey is a bit of a nuisance due to the fact that their boats take up a significant proportion of the canal width, as can be seen in the photo below.

Viking Afloat 'nuisance'

Bought some canal books etc. in the nice shop on the ground floor of the impressive round toll keeper's watchtower. Apparently there is another one like this somewhere on the canal system, but I can't remember where.

Toll keeper's watchtower at Gailey

At Gailey the canal crosses the A5 again, this time under it

The Boat pub at Penkridge looked tempting, but it was a case of sharp exit because it was excessively busy and noisy. Used the CRT facilities at Penkridge and moored up for the night just past the lock on the other side of bridge 86.  


Friday, 2 May 2014

Four Counties Ring Day 14, Norbury Junction to Brewood

If we had a bit more time, Norbury Junction would certainly be an excellent place to spend a couple of days, as the pics below testify. 

Our splendid mooring spot at Norbury Junction

Norbury Junction

Norbury Junction

Norbury Junction

Our splendid mooring spot at Norbury Junction

Norbury Junction

Alas, we had to press on, so onwards towards the 'southern tip' of our cruise.

Note the spelling on the "slow down" sign, sigh

Stopped at Wheton Aston for reasonably priced diesel, as recommended by Ian McDonald.

The garage is reminiscent of Heartbeat. I dare say there aren't many places left like this. The (youngish) chap who runs it is very friendly. Long may it continue!

Used the CRT facilities at Wheaton Aston. In the field opposite there were dozens, possibly hundreds of apparently happy chickens running around between the cows (unfortunately they don't really show up on the poor-quality photo taken with the mobile phone camera, sorry).

This is the Stretton Aqueduct over the A5 (Watling Street). Unfortunately I missed the opportunity to take photos of the road below. Quote from the Nicholson guide:

This solid but elegant cast iron structure carries the canal over the A5. Crossing the aqueduct by boat tends to give the canal traveller an air of great superiority over the teeming motorists below.

Brewood (pronounced Brood) is a splendid little place, as the pics below testify.