Thursday, March 15, 2007

Back up to Fradley today. We’ve had a good couple of days near Alrewas, I took the opportunity to tidy up the top bend on both sides of the bow below the front cockpit. Unfortunately, the right side “bloomed” overnight. The finish is not particularly good, anyway, so I need to flat the paint and recoat at some point.

Arrived at the BW office and sanitary station just before lunch, did the “essentials”, and went in to check the status of the stoppage at Armitage. We’d heard there may be a problem, rumour was correct. The bridge works would not be completed on time; the contractors were working all weekend to try to get the navigation open early next week. This throws our schedule out, but if they open up on Monday, we could still be in Macclesfield on Thursday, to collect the mail and hire a car for Liverpool on Sunday.
One plan worked, though. I’d ordered a bouquet of flowers for Margaret at Willington, to be delivered to the waterways office (It’s our 24th anniversary today). They were there waiting for me, so Mags had a pleasant surprise.

Rather than push on up the flight past Shade House lock, we decided to stop here in Fradley till we got more info on the stoppage. So we moored almost opposite the office, on the visitor moorings.

I rang Fazeley, which is the Area Office for BW Central Shires, to get the most up to date information. They had just been told that there was no possibility of opening before NEXT weekend, and therefore the stoppage would be extended until Saturday 24th.

This throws a huge spanner in the works, so we’ve got to devise a Plan B.
The first step is to get the mail (including my driving licence and race entry details for Liverpool) re-routed to here for collection. Yvonne in the shop has kindly agreed to receive it for me.
Now I’ve got to find a car hire company near here….

Locks 3, miles 2

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