Friday, July 09, 2010

What a difference a day 17 months makes…..

This was us at Dimmingsdale Lock in February 2009…..
And this is us today.I know which I prefer…..

Anyway, to get here we’ve changed canals and guide books. From the Shropshire Union to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and from “Four Counties and the Welsh Canals” to “Severn, Avon and Birmingham”
There were a lot of boats stopping over near Bridge 8 last night, so we thought we’d better get going a bit earlier to beat the rush.

Leaving the moorings
OK, 9 o’clock isn’t early by some people’s standards, but it’s not bad by ours!

The strategy worked, we arrived at Autherley Stop Lock just as a boat was coming out, and no-one was waiting to go in.

In Autherley Stop Lock
A right turn at the Junction took us onto the Staffs and Worcs, Stourport bound.

Mini narrowboat
Sarnie at Oxley Wharf

Although the canal runs alongside Wolverhampton, nothing of the town can be seen, in fact if it weren’t for the road and railway bridges you could be anywhere.
Rural bits, but railway bridge gives it away.
Compton Lock was the first lock we met today on this canal, and was also the first lock constructed by James Brindley when work commenced in the 1760’s.

Compton LockAnd it’s circular "plughole" bywash weir, a feature of this canal.
We dropped down two more, those at Wightwick, before heading down to Dimmingsdale to stop for the night. There are some 5 day moorings near the bridge, but these just above the lock on the offside are much more pleasant.

We’ll have another “early” start tomorrow, then take Sunday off. Silverstone, you know. Oh, and I think there’s a football match on somewhere, too.

This canal, like many others, has an active preservation society. The SWCS is one of the oldest in the country, having been formed in 1959. They have an informative website.

Locks 4, miles 8½


Adam said...

When we went this way a couple of months ago, I thought what fantastic moorings those looked at Dimmingsdale Lock. Unfortunately, we didn't get chance to stop there, but I've made a mental note!

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Adam
You're right, these moorings are great. 18 months ago we spent several days here, on our own on 2 occasions. Not so lucky today, we've got a neighbour, but there's plenty of room for two.
Cheers, Geoff

Amy - Nb Black Bryony said...

I went past Autherley Junction at 5.30am the same day. Started at 4am. When I got to Compton Lock at 6am there was a Napton Hire Boat moored up on the top lock landing. I woke them up tying alongside them and clambering across their boat. Did mumble some words about inconsiderate boaters as well. Amy