Thursday, November 27, 2014

Up the last of the broad locks…

…probably till early next May! From here until we drop back down the Trent and Mersey to meet up with the rest of the Wash convoy we’ll be on narrow canals.
But Knowle Locks are a good way to end our sojourn on the broad Grand Union. It’s a pretty, well kept short flight of five locks that climbs 42 feet to the 10 mile long level that runs through Solihull to Small Heath.

Moving off on another damp November morning.IMG_2552
The flight climbs the rising ground ahead.

Each season seems to have it’s own attendant background noise. The skylark and cuckoo in the spring, combined harvesters in the early autumn, and now as we head into winter, drifting across the misty meadows can be heard the sound of chainsaws as boaters stock up on winter fuel.

Knowle Bottom LockIMG_2554

An audience as we work up the flight.

Looking back over Warwickshire from the middle of the flightIMG_2556

I was wrong, it wasn’t a boaters chainsaw I could hear this morning. A C&RT work-crew were cutting back the trees, working up the flight.IMG_2557
It turns out that it’s these guys who’ve left all those piles of logs between here and Leamington. They’ll be no more ahead of us, then.

We shared the top lock with them, then cruised on, past Stephen Goldsborough’s yard, to moor just before Bridge 72. It was only 11:30!

Stephen Goldsborough BoatsIMG_2560
Several of these high quality boat builders seem to work from very limited facilities.

Moored up looking out over the River Blythe valley.IMG_2561

Plan is, we’ll stay here till Saturday, then move up to Catherine de Barnes for Sunday, before kicking off through the built up area first thing Monday. It could be quite a long day, that.

The day has improved, we even had a brief spell of sunshine this afternoon. The forecast isn’t looking too bad for the next few days.

Locks 5, miles 1

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