It rained pretty much all day yesterday, only brightening up in the late afternoon. So it was a good decision to stay tied up in Wheaton Aston. This morning it was dry but grey as we set off.
NB Owl turning around at the winding hole.
I’d been up to the spar shop earlier, and stopped off at Turner’s Garage for a bag of solid fuel and some oil, then we moved up to the services to top up the water tank. So it was past 10 by the time we were heading into Wheaton Aston Lock.
This is the last “proper” lock when heading south. There’s the stop lock at the junction ahead of us, but with a rise of just 4” it hardly counts… At nearly eight deep this is also the deepest.
From here it’s a straight run of about 8 miles to the junction with the Staffs and Worcester at Autherley.
Above the lock the canal enters Lapley Wood Cutting. I’d just said to Mags that it was ideal kingfisher country when she glimpsed a flash of electric blue in the shrubbery. But a hasty shot over my shoulder didn’t come out too well…
The canal emerges from the cutting into open country towards Stretton Aqueduct.
Stretton Wharf and the aqueduct ahead…
…carrying the canal over the A5.
There’s a long straight ahead which takes you into Brewood, with lots of permanent moorings and a hire base at this end.
Some of the boats on the moorings haven’t seen soap and water for a long, long time…
Brewood is a smart village, good for supplies and pleasant to have a stroll around. It’s a pity that the moorings are in a gloomy, damp cutting.
OK for a short stop, but for overnight we’ve stayed out at one end or the other.
Looking back at Brewood from near Bridge 12
The canal has another cutting to negotiate south of Brewood, passing under the ornamental Avenue Bridge, number 10.
It carried the carriage road to Chillington Hall, ancestral home of the Giffard family, and the wide and decorated bridge was insisted upon before permission for the canal to cross their land was granted.
We pulled in between Bridges 8 and 7, on an open stretch of moorings with rings.
On the right there’s a long row of flowering cherries, and over the hedge the rape is just coming into flower. Very fragrant.
We’ll be here tomorrow, moving on on Monday. A change of canal will see us finally heading back north again, the direction we intended all along.
Locks 1, miles 5