I’ve been a busy bee this weekend. I got all the right side of the cabin cut and polished, tidied up the anchor, chain and warp, rubbed down and primed the boarding plank and boat hook shaft and still had time for my training runs and long walks with Meg.
Looking down the old Newport Branch.It only runs to the first lock, now. It used to go down to Newport, and then on to the Shrewsbury Canal at Wappenshall Junction, dropping through 23 locks in the 9½ mile distance.It connected to a network of smaller canals, including the Shrewsbury, built to move coal and iron from the Shropshire coalfields.
Across a couple of fields from the junction there’s an unassuming stone built platform surrounded by a moat.
This is the foundation of the grand 13C Norbury Manor. After passing through the hands of several owners the house was bought by the Anson family of Shugborough Hall. By this time the structure was seriously dilapidated and was demolished in the 18C, a lot of the stone finishing up in the walls of Norbury Manor Farm.
The stonework of the moat is in surprisingly good condition.
Malcolm and Barbara on NB Pilgrim arrived yesterday afternoon, with friends Michael and Angela on tug Levick. I was hoping they’d catch up, I wanted to hear all about their trip from Liverpool Docks, across the Mersey estuary, and back onto the canals at the Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port.
It’s something I fancy doing, following it with a trip over the Ribble estuary on the Millennium Ribble Link to the Lancaster Canal. I’ve just got to convince the skipper….
I caught Pilgim and Levick filling with diesel this morning before they headed off south.
Levick, with Pilgrim in the background.We followed an hour or so later, after filling with fuel ourselves then going across to the service point for water.
Leaving Norbury Junction
We had a very pleasant cruise, just above tick-over, enjoying the fine weather and the scenery.
Boat Inn, Gnosall
Keeping an eye on the kids.
Cowley TunnelNow only 81 yards long, this tunnel should have been longer but the unstable rock at the south end proved too difficult so it was opened out, leaving a long rock-lined cutting.
The tunnel bore is unlined, apart from a short section of stonework at the southern portal.
Cowley Tunnel, south, and the cutting. Typical SU cruising, near Church Eaton
Whoops! Grammatically incorrect, but the message is clear.
We pulled over at Little Onn Bridge, a couple of miles north of Wheaton Aston.
Moored at Little Onn
It’s a popular spot here, a good edge without the notorious “Shroppie Shelf” sticking out below water level. We’ll stay here tomorrow, by Wednesday our mail should have arrived at the Post Office in Wheaton Aston, and we can make tracks to Stourport.
Locks 0, miles 5½