As it turned out there were several large logs going begging just north of Gnosall, making the trip north of Norbury unnecessary.
Before getting to the village though we passed through the sheer sided Cowley Cutting which culminates in the short Cowley Tunnel.
The tunnel should have been longer but the unstable ground wouldn’t support a tunnel, so a cutting was formed instead. It’s only at the north end that the rock was firm enough for tunnelling.
In fact recent rockfalls onto the towpath show the cutting is still loose.
The tunnel pops out into Gnosall where we stopped for a bit of shopping before pushing on, with a pause for the wood collecting.
Another couple of miles took us to Norbury where we pulled over on the embankment moorings.
A quick lunch and Vic arrived with his chainsaw, and we made short work of the logs, slicing them into splitable rings.
Sue’s Lucy came to visit while Mags was watching through the window.
Landslides seem to be the order of the day, probably brought on by ice-fractured rock.
From BW today…..
Friday 14 January 2011 until further notice
A substantial rock fall has occurred within the Tyrely cutting which has blocked the navigation to all craft between bridge 58 and 59 on the Shropshire Union Canal. After initial inspection there is concern that other sections of the cutting face are at risk of further collapse. For safety reasons we will therefore have to close off the towpath and navigation until further notice whilst investigations are completed and the rock fall removed.
Puts paid to any thoughts of going up to Market Drayton.
Locks 0, miles 5½