Friday, January 31, 2014

Our weather luck couldn’t last…

Today’s trip started OK, a bit grey, a bit breezy, but dry. By the time we’d Baswich where the canal turns to the east around the rising ground that marks the end of Cannock Chase, the rain had arrived and was continuous till later this afternoon.

I’d heard chainsaws at work below Deptmore Lock yesterday afternoon, contractors had been at work cutting back several willows growing between the canal and the the field drainage ditch. We pulled over and took several lengths, but there’s still plenty more there.

Below Deptmore Lock, it’ll not hang around long!SAM_8068

The River Penk has overflowed it’s bed, spreading out across the water meadows.

The proposed Riverway Link uses the River Sow as a route into Stafford, re-establishing a long-lost navigation. Although I think it would be difficult to find today….SAM_8073

The towpath swaps sides at Milford, over a brick roving bridge.

Milford Bridge

Tixall Lock is the most northern lock on the S&W, with a well kept lock cottage alongside.

Tixall LockSAM_8084
I insisted Mags stayed inside for this one, no point in us both getting wet through!

It’s not very often that there’re no boats moored at Tixall Wide!SAM_8086

Ivy is the cause of a lot of the blow-downs in the recent weeks. Although it doesn’t attack the tree directly, only using it as a climbing frame, it’s foliage inhibits the tree’s own leaves, weakening it. Then along comes a winter gale and the extra top hamper proves too much.SAM_8089


One solution, employed here, is to cut through the vines, removing a substantial portion. Ideally though, the area around the base of the tree should also be cleared.

Once it gets hold it spreads rapidly from tree to tree. It’s only really obvious in the winter.

Taken in one of the Shroppie cuttings a few days ago… all ivy.SAM_7969

Approaching Great Haywood Junction, Anglo Welsh hire base on the leftSAM_8092
Junction Bridge is almost obscured by smoke from our chimney.

The only boat we’ve seen on the move today came from here, met just below Tixall Lock. He’ll have had a miserable first day’s cruise.

We reversed onto the water point to fill the tank, then moored on a spot above Haywood Lock. All the paths are either puddles or mud, I think we’ll have to head into Shugborough Park for a walk tomorrow.

Locks 2, miles 7½


Linda said...

Sorry to hear about the weather. Your photos are lovely.

Chas and Ann said...

You are making us feel home sick. Too much going on down south to consider getting back on the cut!