Monday, April 18, 2011

Odd sort of day….

It started well, with Bruce and Sheila arriving on the smart NB Sanity Again.

Bruce and Sheila

We chatted while they worked down Shadehouse and Middle Locks, then I left them to it as we needed to get going.

NB Sanity Again heading down to the junction

It’s been another fine day, sunny and warm, but a cooler breeze sprung up later this afternoon.

But, although we seem to have been busy, we don’t seem to have achieved much. We got off before noon, leaving a couple of spaces on the moorings above Shadehouse Lock.

Space on Shadehouse moorings. It won’t last long….

Up the very pretty Woodend Lock the canal winds it’s way through Ravenshaw Wood.

Woodend Lock

This area is one of those to be blighted if the HS2 rail link goes through.

The canal will be crossed twice in ½ a mile, and new line will trash Ravenshaw Wood. See here.

Don’t know what it is, but it’s a beautiful splash of colour.

Between Woodend and Handsacre we were caught up by another two boats. I hate being pushed by following boats so pulled over to let them past.

Then we had to wait for another boat to clear the narrows where Armitage Tunnel was cut. The tunnel was opened out after mining subsidence, but is now almost roofed over again by the concrete of the A513 crossing.

Armitage “tunnel”

Just the other side this threatening looking chap glared across the canal…

Maybe something to do with Hawkesyard Hall just up a little way.

Hawkesyard Hall

There used to be a Dominican Priory here.

At the water point we passed one of the boats that had chased us earlier, and he pulled out behind us to resume the race into Rugeley.

Into Rugeley we met an oncoming boat in a narrow section and I was so distracted by the impatient guy hounding us that I ran hard aground 3 feet out from the towpath. I had to tell him to reverse so I could do the same to get off the obstruction. Annoying!

Then we met another boat late for something or other under one of the railway bridges, requiring hard astern to avoid a collision.

I was glad to make a stop at Bridge 66 to visit Morrisons. It gave me a chance to cool down.

We had an encounter with one of the Community Support Officers on the towpath. (Didn’t they used to be called “Specials”?). PC Dale was very pleasant, and we had a chat about the weather, boats, dogs and miscellaneous other topics.

PC Elizabeth Dale.

We had an uneventful last couple of miles, out of the town to moor for the night near Taft Bridge. I guess I’m feeling a bit tetchy today; I was even annoyed that someone else had moored on my favourite spot! Roll on winter…..

Had to smile at this though. I know we’ve had a lot of duckling pictures, but aren’t they cute.

Locks 1, miles 9


Adam said...

There are still specials -- they're volunteers, who do a few days of policing a month, in their spare time. CSOs are paid and often full time, but aren't fully trained police officers -- and therefore shouldn't be called PC!

Bruce in Sanity said...


It was great to meet up again. Sorry that things were so busy, you should adopt our policy; boat early, boat often ;-}

But then we wouldn't have had your help down the flight, so I guess it's all our fault ;-0

Sheila says the flowers are kingcups or marsh marigolds.

All the best


Carol said...

Oh dear geoff! I hope that today is better! Love to mags. Xx

Anonymous said...

There is something nice about having the winter canals all to oneself!

We've had our fair share of 'tetchy' days recently - too much sun on the brain I reckon - we're just not used to it at this time of year :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream