Thursday, October 17, 2013

Choosing days for cruising…

With the weather doing it’s best to confuse us at the moment, it’s a matter of close attention to the forecast before deciding whether to move or not. Today was one of the better ones this week, yesterday was a day of heavy showers from late morning on.
So we stayed put yesterday, although we did cross over to the services and back in a bright period in the evening, leaving moving on till today.

Coming up Junction Lock, C&RT chaps fixing a new rail alongside the roadSAM_6662

There are 5 locks around Fradley Junction, we did two on Tuesday, leaving the remaining  three for today. From the river section at Alrewas the canal is raised about 70 feet through 9 locks this side of Rugeley. It swings away from the Trent river valley, heading first south-west then north-west towards it’s final destination at Preston Brook. The river lags behind, height-wise, not making up the difference till up near Stone.

From Alrewas the river heads almost due west, through Kings Bromley, approaching the artificial navigation again at Rugeley, although still 20 feet or so below. I’ve often wondered why Brindley chose the long way round via Fradley, rather than following the river valley as it does up to this point. Any ideas, anyone?

Shadehouse Lock, top of the Fradley locksSAM_6666
I’ve just given Mags a shout to look this way, she was contemplating Shade House, alongside the lock, still for sale. She really fancies it, but it’s a bit beyond our budget…

Pause for a mo..
Ray, late of NB No Direction, has just cruised past on No Direction. He’s on his way back to moorings at Kings Bromley Marina after a survey for the new owner. We had a quick chat, he and Jayne are settling in nicely down south.  Keep well, both.

Woodend Lock is the last of the locks before the 10 mile long level pound to Colwich. Above the lock was ex-FMC tar boat Spey, and I know this one’s an historic boat, Amy!

NB Spey

The canal cuts along the edge of Ravenshaw Wood (don’t you love that name??), before heading back into civilisation at Handsacre.

Ravenshaw Wood, just starting to turn Autumnal…SAM_6673

Unusual artwork in Handsacre


Armitage Shanks sanitary ware (toilets!) factory in ArmitageSAM_6677


Wanna brew?SAM_6681
Yes, please!

We passed through the opened-out Armitage Tunnel and moored on the long straight alongside the Rugeley Road. It’s a bit traffic-noisy here at the moment, but it quietens down later. We’re meeting a Tesco delivery across the canal in the morning.

We had a bite of lunch, then I set to and spent an hour cutting and chopping the logs that I collected the other day. That’s better, now. We’ve had to burn only solid fuel for the last 24 hours, having run out of cut wood and not being able to use the chain saw where we were. Broke my heart, that!

Locks 4, miles 6

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