Monday, January 27, 2014

Change of canal, change of direction, same old muddy towpath!

We headed down the remainder of the Shropshire Union today, turning sharp left at Autherley Junction onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

A bright start as we set offSAM_7987
A big improvement on when we arrived!

SAM_8011I spent yesterday marking out and cutting the wood I’d picked up at Norbury Wharf. An 8 foot by 4 foot sheet of oak-faced MDF was reduced to this…

….and a large pile of sawdust!

Unfortunately, with the weather being as it was, I had to convert the bedroom into a workshop, so every level surface in the boat was covered in a fine layer of dust.
Any ideas on what it’ll be? For those that know Seyella there’s a bit of a clue in the background…

We had a steady three miles down to the junction, with a cool breeze and bright sun almost dead ahead.

Under the M54.SAM_7991
We’ll go under again in a couple of hours. 

It looks like whatsisname and Chel finally broke up, then. She was too good for him, anyway.

Silent sentinel.

Fishing herons look as miserable as their human counterparts often do.

Threading between the hireboats at Napton Boats at the junctionSAM_7997

Autherley Stop LockSAM_7998
The lock only rises three inches, but is there to prevent the Shroppie from “stealing” water from the S&W. When the canals were built, water was a precious commodity. Expensive reservoirs had to be built to provide enough to supply the locks, rivers and streams were often diverted or commandeered as additional feeders. So the canal companies were very possessive of “their” water.

We pulled over just outside the junction for a quick lunch, then set off again, now heading north.

On the Staffs and Worcs, Junction Bridge on the left. 

I’m glad we met this boat at Marsh Lane Bridge…..

…as just beyond is the narrow section know as the Rockins.SAM_8003

It must have been hard work cutting the channel through the hard rock. Under Forsters Bridge you can see the chisel marks. No explosives used in 1772!

As we passed under the M54 again, the construction of access roads for the I54 development is well under way. The I54 is a joint project between Advantage West Midlands and the local councils, and will be an enterprise and technology business park covering 98 hectares and costing £67m. There are already a couple of companies operating on site, and Jaguar-Landrover are opening a new engine plant here this year.
I made a pigs-ear of the photo, though. But there are some pretty pictures here…

The original bridges on the S&W are low, you have to watch your chimney and your head!SAM_8010
What they lack in headroom, they make up for in width.

We pulled in just past the Fox and Anchor at Cross Green. it’s a bit muddy along here; it’s generally drier around the corner but I needed to go to the Co-op in Coven. I forgot the washing up liquid the other day and the plate situation is getting desperate. Only joking, Meg makes a good plate cleaner….

Locks 1, miles 7½

1 comment:

Carol said...

The galley/salon gets it’s make over then, was beginning to think you’d changed your mind! Enjoy. Love to you both.