We weren’t planning on moving yesterday, perhaps as well. It was very windy from mid-morning on. We only saw another two boats braving the elements. I had some wood to chop and a repair to do outside, so I was glad that it stayed fine.
The tunnel light bracket had all but rusted through…
…so I made and fitted a new one. I knew I kept those un-needed radiator brackets for something.
That’s why there’s some spare holes…
We had a spectacular sunset for the Winter Solstice.
Pity I couldn’t find a spot that didn’t include the telegraph poles.
It was still windy this morning, though it seemed a little calmer than yesterday. I thought about hanging on for another day, but tomorrow is also predicted to be blustery so there wasn’t a lot to be gained.
Off along Shebdon Embankment this morning.
At the far end of the embankment Cadbury’s built a processing plant to provide chocolate crumb. The crumb, produced from locally sourced milk and cocoa, is an ingredient in the finished product, and was shipped by narrowboat to Bournville.
Cadbury’s Knighton factory
The disused loading canopy makes good shelter for several ex-working boats.
It was 6 miles to the locks at Tyrley, embankments and short cuttings to negotiate as the canal heads steadily slightly west of north. The embankments give fine views off to the west, but that’s where the wind is coming from too, making it a bit awkward at times.
There’s a long line of linear moorings around Goldstone, finally left behind at The Wharf Inn.
After the wide views off the raised sections, the next 1½ miles feels almost claustrophobic.
Woodseaves Cutting is the longest and deepest on the canal, the sides rising to over 50 feet above the canal.
It starts just before Cheswardine Bridge…
…through rock-cut sections…
…and under High Bridge…
…before emerging from the gloom at Tyrley Wharf
The working boatmen were very reluctant to cruise through here after dark, being generally a superstition lot they weren’t prepared to risk meeting up with the creature that supposedly haunts the slopes. We’ve been through once in the evening, and it’s not difficult to imagine there being a leering shape peering down from the dripping, overhanging vegetation…
We topped off and emptied tanks at the wharf, then set off down the flight of five locks.
Watering up at Tyrley
Mags heading down Tyrley Locks
She’s just passed the notoriously powerful bywash below Lock 4.
Below the locks a tree stump has had a face for a while, but this year it’s gone all festive!
Another 20 minutes saw us tied up near Bridge 62 at Market Drayton. Tomorrow I’ll be up in town shopping, getting the cupboards topped up again. A quick trip up to the market on Wednesday (always worth a visit) will be followed by a short cruise out of town to spend a couple of days out in the sticks.
This afternoon I felt the Christmas Spirit move me, so I dug into the storage under the bed and pulled out the decorations. We’ve now got a tree up…
Ho, Ho, Ho!
Locks 5, miles 7½