Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Regular Locks to Kilby Bridge

After yesterday’s evening showers the sky cleared and it was a fine night, dawning to give us beautiful blue skies.
It wasn’t to last, though. Clouds started rolling in soon after we got off, driven by a strong wind from the west.

Where we moored last night we had wide views across the open parkland that was the site of the medieval village of Wistowe.

Looking out over the village site.The 13C St. Wistans church is just visible to the left.

I’ve tried without success to find out why it was abandoned, it seemed to be in an excellent location, fertile grazing, woodland for fuel and construction materials, a growing city nearby for trade.
A clue could be that there’s a large hall here, and it was not unknown for wealthy landowners to move whole communities in order to create private parks. This happened at Shugborough in Staffordshire.

Today we’ve had a regular run of locks to descend, the first after about 10 minutes, then the rest no more than 15 minutes apart.

No 1 today, Newton Top Lock
I though we were going to be in for a bit of frustration, as we arrived the first couple of locks were against us, with the lower gates stood open. Then after closing them, filling the lock, dropping down and Mags motoring out, I found that I couldn’t keep the bottom gates shut either!
I closed the one that we’d come out of, only to have the other one swing open. Crossing over the top gates, I closed the other one, crossed back and the damn thing swung open again. I’m afraid that’s how it stayed. I know you’re supposed to close everything on leaving, but there are limits on how many times I’m prepared to walk around a lock!

By the time we’d got three locks under our belts traffic that had spent the night at Kilby Bridge had started to arrive, so the locks were filled ready for us, and we were able to leave gates open with a clear conscience with boats approaching.

Between Locks 26 and 27, Bottom Half Mile Lock and Turnover Lock.The clouds roll in!

Another customer for Bumblebee Lock.
I thought we might get away with the weather, but 10 minutes from Kilby Bridge we had a heavy shower. It didn’t last long, and with the brisk wind everything had dried out again by the time we pulled onto the services at the BW maintenance yard.

We filled with water, emptied a loo and rubbish, and motored across the canal to the moorings. We’re staying here tonight, taking it easy, girding our loins ready for the run through Leicester tomorrow.
The forecast is for rain later in the afternoon. We’ll be making an early start, hoping to avoid most of it.

Locks 7, miles 2¾

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