Before we left Shutt Hill this morning I got that log sliced and chopped, as well as a couple more that were lurking in the undergrowth. So that space behind the top-box is once again occupied. Saves me having to scrub it, which was the plan this weekend…
Heading into Shutt Hill Lock
A kind gentleman on a boat called Meg had passed us this morning, heading downhill at 07:15. He’d left all the bottom gates open… making it easy for me.
There’s a short pound to Park Gate Lock, alongside a busy B road. Below the lock, if you can put up with the traffic, is a good stopping spot.
With parking alongside it’s handy for visitors or deliveries, and Midland Chandlers and Teddesley Boat Services are alongside and above the lock respectively.
I’d just got into the lock when we were hailed from MC’s car park. It was Pete and Dawn, NB White Atlas, who we’d met earlier in the year. They’re wintering at Stafford Boat Club, we passed the boat yesterday. We had a short catch up before we left them to their shopping and pushed on.
Pete closing the top gate behind us.
Under the M6
We arrived at Longford Lock to find the lock empty as expected and with a boat on the top landing. We went in, the downhill boater came to help me up. It turned out that he’d broken down as he arrived at the lock; a raw water cooling pipe had fractured, so instead of going over the side the “used” water was going into the bilge. He obviously couldn’t run the engine in that condition, so was going to pull the boat back the half-mile to below Penkridge Lock, to make it easier for an engineer. I told him I’d tow him back if we could turn him around, but at 37 foot he was just too long for the width of the canal. So I towed him backwards. Not easy, the fore-end tended to wag about a bit, but I got the hang of it in the end and got him back to outside of the Boat Inn. And we didn’t hit the bank or another boat either! Luckily no-one was coming the other way, though.
Safely outside the pub
The steerer (I never did get his name) worked me up the lock in return for the favour, then we pulled in on the visitor moorings opposite Tom’s Moorings.
After a damp and grey start the day improved no end, by the time we’d stopped the sun was shining from a clear blue sky. It was almost warm!
Moored in Penkridge
We stay here tomorrow, there’s an excellent market in the village, we'll move on a bit on Sunday.
Hi Lesley. Now, who did you say was offering that money? I could do with a new laptop!
Locks 4, miles 2