Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A lock-free day

Had a bit of a surprise this morning when I pulled back the curtains. The forecast had suggested a frost, but not enough to freeze the canal again!

A chilly start
It wasn’t very thick though, and by the time 3 boats had gone past, it was mostly gone. It was pretty misty when it took Meg out on her morning walk.

Across the River Trent
We walked to Mavesyn Ridware and back, odd name but a pretty village nonetheless.

In Mavesyn Ridware

There are 3 other Ridwares in the area. Pipe, Hill, and Hamstell. “Ridware” is Saxon for “dwellers by the ford” (ritu – ford, waru – dwellers), and the prefixes most likely relate to the major land owning families in each parish. Mavesyn comes from the Norman Malveisin family.

We set off soon after 11:00, and had a steady cruise to Rugeley, where we pulled over for an hour to do a bit of shopping at the local Morrisons. On the way we filled the water tank just after Armitage Tunnel. This started out as a tunnel, then was opened out into a cutting in 1971, and finally, when the A513 was widened, is almost back to being a tunnel again! Whatever you call it, there’s only enough width for one boat, so it’s wise to send someone ahead to make sure the way is clear. That’d be me, then!

Armitage Tunnel/Cutting.

We left Rugeley over the River Trent just after the sharp turn at Brindley Bank.

Over the Trent again. We’d provisionally intended to get to Great Haywood today, but decided to stop sooner rather than carry on till dusk. So we pulled in just east of Taft Bridge, number 69.

Pulling in for the night
I mentioned yesterday the power station’s “micro climate”. It was certainly in evidence today. Either side of the town it was quite pleasant hazy sunshine, but once we passed the plant it was cold, damp and misty until we were out the other side.

Locks 0, miles 6.

1 comment:

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Ah, bridge 69, one of my favourite moorings! I can remember walking the dogs further up around the corner where they blithely helped themselves to a tea-taking couple's Battenburg cake and cucumber sandwiches. Don't you just love 'em? Hope you are all well