Thursday, July 08, 2010

Trying to avoid the strimmers!

Arriving at Wheaton Aston yesterday.

Don’t just stand there, lend a hand paw!
We were going to get off a bit earlier today, but by the time I’d had my training run, taken Meg for a walk (avoided the seeds today!) and done a bit of shopping at the Spar tucked away near the church, it was getting on for 10:00 and traffic was starting to build up.So we decided to hang on for half an hour or so. But then we spotted the grass cutters in the distance heading towards us trimming the towpath verges.
There’ve been a few complaints this year about flying stones damaging boats, but these guys were being very careful, not strimming or even mowing alongside moored boats.
But we thought we’d make their life easier and get out of the way.

Turner’s Wharf has a splendid new concrete surface. You still have to put the hose in an old oil can, though.
With all the boats buzzing about it was a bit chaotic on the water point, but we got sorted and joined a 3 boat queue for the lock.

"If you go that way, then I can go this way..."
With waiting crews helping boats through, progress was good and we were on our way only an hour after pulling off the mooring.We got off the water point just ahead of the grass cutters, only to be caught up again as we waited for the lock.

Floral displays from the Long-Term moorers above the lock
Probably not “Moving On” any time soon – that’s his engine on the counter!
We’d had some early showers, hardly enough to wet the ground, but by lunchtime the sky had cleared and it was a fine afternoon.

Over Watling Street (the A5) on another of Telford’s aqueducts.
Brewood (pronounced “Brood”) is another popular stop over, it’s just a pity the villages around here are built on rising ground, which means the canal runs in a cutting.

Brewood Moorings
We saw our first kingfisher this year just south of the village, but my hasty shots were blurred or out of focus (or both). Shame, one of them caught him just coming out of the water after a failed strike. The harsh winter has really knocked their numbers down. I hope the next isn’t so icy, to give them a chance to recover.

Avenue Bridge is ornately balustraded.This bridge carried the carriage road to Chillington Hall, 1¾ miles away. The decoration was insisted upon by the owner of the hall as a condition of the canal passing through his grounds.
There are other examples of this type of agreement. Tixall Wide at the top of the Staffs and Worcester near Great Heywood was also created so that the canal looked less artificial and more like a natural feature.

We pulled over just south of Bridge 8. This is a good mooring, with rings, but we stopped short. Why? Those grass cutters were here, they'd beaten us to it!

Isn't it great when you've got a decent internet connection. 3G here!

Locks 1, miles 5

Don’t forget….
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