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Friday, 4 September 2015

Back on to the Shroppie

Up to a bright morning a we leave our last night mooring back under the the M54 motorway as we head towards Autherley junction and it's not long before we reach it and turn on to the Shropshire Union canal. 

A stop lock meets us first then we top up with water  before going under the M54 again, a little bit further on we stop at the village of Brewood, pronounced brood for the night. After mooring we change our clothes and take a walk into the pretty village, here we visit a few shops to top up our provisions before returning to the boat to chill out.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Down the Staff and Worcs

Up early again to a grey morninin, breakfast first then we set off and a lock greets us straight away, a deep,old lock but the gates are quite light and are easy for Denise to operate. We then pass the town of Acton Trussel a modern development with lovely manicured gardens reaching the canal side.Open countryside again now as we continue to cruise, a few locks  and bridges before we reach the village of Penkridge this village has grown around the Cross Keys which was once an isolated canal pub but now surrounded by houses.

We had already decided to take on water at the water point just above the lock, but as we arrived another boat had beat us to it, so we had to wait, and not in the best of positions as the stand post was located right by the lock, so we waited and waited, this boat had to have a leak because they took ages to fill it,after about  half an hour they had finished, so it was our tour and in about ten mins we had filled up to the brim and off we set again.
 Gailey  wharf with its round toll keepers watch tower and boatyard are now passed  and Leaving the village behind the canal again opened into countryside with the exception of a big chemical works once known as the 'black works' as lamp black was produced here, with the canal side warnings of 'no stopping even if the alarms went off'.

Then we decide to moor up as the sky above has gone black and threatens to rain, we moor opposite Calf Heath marina and speak to another boater who was from Maesteg before settling down for the evening .
See you soon ...

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

On to another stretch of new canal

Up to a bright morning as we leave our mooring,and straight away we need to operate a lock just outside  of the village of Little Haywood with its two pubs and one shop, and then we cruise on to Great Haywood passing the house and grounds of Shugsborough Hall.

At Great Haywood we stop at take a stroll into the town and pay a visit to the local shop for some supplies, thier was not a lot to buy but luckily for us just by the canal is a farm shop where we wished we visited first as the vegetables, meat and others grocery bits are a lot better than the village shop.
Back to the boat and off we set again through another lock and then a turn left on to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, we have been on this canal before but not on this stretch. The canal is a lovely canal, engineered by James Brindley at opened in 1772 at the cost of £100000.00 it stretches 46 miles from the Severn to where we are at Great Haywood.

We pass Tixall Wide a stretch of the canal made to look like a lake as not to compromise the view fro the grand Tixall house, the canal then narrows with  twist and turns making this part an interesting journey.
We skirt around The village of Baswich
 and the heavens open so we decide to moor up opposite Stafford boat club for the night. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The Suns back out

We leave Hopwas to a beautiful morning we pass Whittington firing range although no firing this morning,so we leave the woods and it open farmland again we pass the villages of Whittington and Huddlesford before we approach the famous Fradley junction, prior to joining  the Trent and Mersey canal we take on water then it's through the swing bridge and on to T&M and our first lock where we are helped by a Vlockie ( a volunteer lock keeper ) then another 2 locks before another clear run on the canal.
At Armitage the canal becomes industrialised with factories producing the product which most of us have used at one time or another ."......the toilet.

We pass Hawkesyard house which was once known a Spode house home to,the famous pottery family

and then on to the market town of Rugeley with its Hughes power station, its was also  home of  William Palmer or as he was known the Rugeley poisoner

The area of outstanding beauty Canock Chase is on our left with its exceptional flora and fauna, also home of fallow deer whose ancestors have grazed in this area for centuries.The site of Deutscher Soldatenfriedhof is also here, and contains graves of 2134 German servicemen from WW 1 and 2786 from WW2.
A little bit further on we moor up for the night, in a lovely spot over looking the chase. See you tomorrow.......