Thursday, January 15, 2009

Short Haul to Shugborough Hall…

It’s a lot warmer today, in fact quite mild. Bit of a breeze, though. We finished off yesterday’s truncated trip, tying up opposite Shugborough Hall, below Haywood Lock.

We passed the Boaters Christian Fellowship place at The Taft with NB MAID of OAK moored on the quay.

Maid of Oak
This is unusual in that it is a modern wooden boat, built by Bates Boatyard on the Aylesbury Arm of the GU.

Just 1 lock today, at Colwich. Aren’t we getting lazy! It was in our favour, so didn’t take more than 10 minutes to ascend. This is always a bottleneck in summer, but in the other direction. The Staffs and Worcester Canal joins at the junction, and a lot of boaters stop overnight at Great Haywood. So if they all get off at roughly the same time, and Colwich Lock is only 20 minutes away….Long queues are not unknown…

Colwich Lock. Not another boat in sight.
A few minutes before we stopped, we passed evidence of tree cutting on the towpath. No-one was around, however. A little later the work crew walked past us on the way back to work, so I ambled up to ask them about the wood. “Take as much as you want” was the reply, so I did…

Two or three weeks of free fuel, there. And it has a low carbon footprint!

It’s quiet here at this time of year. There’s a good view of Shugborough Hall across the park.

Shugborough Hall.
Before we moved off yesterday morning I tried, unsuccessfully, to confirm my entry in the Great Manchester Run, the 10k I do every year in the city centre. But I kept getting an error message. So I tried again late last night, and was well annoyed to get a message saying that entry to the race has now closed, with all available places taken up.
I was stamping about a bit, I've competed in that race for the last 4 years! But, having slept on it, this morning I realised that there could be a silver lining. Instead of having to be in the Manchester area in May, thereby meaning that at least the first half of the summer would be spent in the north, we are now no longer tied. There's a 10k in Oxford in May.... Hmmmm, sounds like an idea. Then maybe on to the Thames.....

Locks 1, miles 2½

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