Friday, November 12, 2010

Friends at Great Haywood

We waited out the weather again yesterday. The wind was very strong, blowing across spells of rain, not good boating conditions.

We often cross aqueducts on our way around the network, but don’t often have the chance to see what holds up the trough of water. So I had a walk back to Brindley Bank to have a look at the aqueduct there. There’s no actual path down to the banks of the Trent here, so Meg and I had to push through the undergrowth to get a view of the structure. A bit disappointed.
Four blue brick arches carry the canal over the river. Not the most elegant, but practical.

Brindley Bank Aqueduct
Just down from the aqueduct is where the body of Christina Collins was discovered, in June 1839. She was travelling as a passenger on a narrowboat to London to meet her husband. Two boatmen were convicted and hung for her rape and murder. A third was transported to Australia.
The unfortunate Christina was carried up the steps and along the path to what is now the A51. Alongside this path was built a water pumping station by the South Staffordshire Waterworks Company. The pump was steam driven, built in Leeds in 1903.

Brindley Bank Pumping Station

I watched the online debate about the future of BW, hosted by Waterways World, last evening. Some interesting points raised, but a bit tamer than I expected.

We toddled off just a couple of miles up to Great Haywood today. It was a bright morning, but the wind that has been a major feature of the weather recently is still with us. Not so bad, though.
A short stop at Wolseley Bridge netted us some beech logs trimmed off a tree overhanging the canal, then as the railway swings in towards the canal, reached Colwich Lock.

Colwich Lock
On the summer mornings this lock is always a bottleneck. Great Haywood is a popular overnight stop, and boats leaving the following morning tend to catch each other up at the lock. In the past we’ve been part of a seven boat queue, heading south.

Another mile and we pulled over near the iron bridge which linked the Shugborough Hall to the village.

Meg and I had a walk up towards the junction and met Charles and Ann on NB Moore2Life, moored above Haywood Lock. It’s been a while since we saw them last, and they came back to ours for a brew and a catch-up.
They’re intending to move around the corner onto Tixall Wide tomorrow, we’ll join them, either tomorrow or Sunday.

Here’s a story to warm the cockles of BW’s new charity heart; a request for funding for dredging a canal and they’re not being asked, not directly. Of course, the Cromford isn’t reconnected to the main network, at least not yet.

Locks 1, miles 2¾

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