Saturday, December 03, 2011

A good walk, short cruise, and visitors.

It’s been a most enjoyable day today. It’s been fine and sunny, fairly mild, with just a bit of wind. Meg and I set off this morning soon after 8 o’clock to walk the circuit to Giffard’s Cross and back. At around 3 miles, it’s a pleasant hour or so (depending on how fast you walk!). Back to Bridge 7, along the edges of 2 fields to pick up the lane, turn right and follow it all the way to the car park on The Avenue. Then make a short detour to the left to see Giffard’s Cross and Chillington Hall in the distance, before following The Avenue back to the canal. The Avenue carries on to the Brewood/Coven road, but at the ornate Avenue Bridge you can drop back down onto the canal towpath and return, or stay above but parallel to the canal till Bridge 9, joining the towpath there.

Giffard’s CrossSAM_0007 Giffords Cross Chillington HallSAM_0004 Chillington Hall
The Avenue to the Hall is still usable, though a little more overgrown.

Walking along The AvenueSAM_0009 Chillington Avenue

Avenue Bridge, with it’s ornate balustrade, crosses the canalSAM_0012 Avenue Bridge

Winter wheat in the field above the canalSAM_0014 Winter Wheat
The Avenue continues through the belt of trees.

Back to the mooring between Bridges 7 and 8.SAM_0017 SUCS Mooring
Meg is off to meet George and Molly.

CrestChillington Hall is the family seat of the Giffard family, and has been since the 12th Century, although the present house dates to the 18th.
The family crest incorporates a panther and an archer and the motto “Prenez haleine, tirez fort” - “Take breath, pull strong”. This refers to Sir John Giffard, who in 15—something, shot a panther which had escaped from his menagerie and was about to attack a mother and child. Giffard’s Cross marks the spot where the beast died.
Sir John was very much a “King’s Man” supporting Henry VIII through most of his reign. He died in 1556 at the ripe old age of 90!

We toddled off soon after 10:00, tail end charlie again. Heading into Brewood we passed under Avenue Bridge this time.

Avenue Bridge againSAM_0022 Avenue Bridge
SAM_0024 Avenue Bridge

St Mary the Virgin and St. Chad, Brewood rises above the village.SAM_0028 Brewood

Brewood village is a handy spot to stop, with a well stocked Co-op for shopping. But from a boater’s point of view it’s let down by a soggy towpath. In a cutting overhung by trees it’d be hard pressed to be anything else, but it’s a shame nonetheless. TV and phone signals are pretty well none existent here as well.

But we weren’t intending to stay overnight, we were here to meet Lesley and Joe, currently of NB Caxton, soon to be of NB Yarwood. They’d come up from Stourport by road to Penkridge, and stopped to say hello on the way back.

Lesley, Joe, George and CarolSAM_0029 Lesley, Joe, George Carol
I don’t know what Mags has just said, but it seems to have surprised Lesley!

We had a joint effort for lunch, Mags had made a pan of soup, Carol provided the hot bread rolls and Lesley brought doughnuts for pudding. Very good it was, too.
They left us to travel back to Stourport, and we headed out of Brewood, to moor just a little further along. It’s out of the cutting here, so we’ve a drier towpath and a lot more light.

Lesley and Joe.SAM_0031 Lesley and Joe
A bit of an unfortunate backdrop!
Good to see you both, hope everything goes well for the launch of NB Yarwood

Past countrywide Cruisers, Brewood.SAM_0032 Countrywide, Brewood

Chas hasn’t been with us today, he decided to carry on to Wheaton Aston. Ann is due back from her family visit down south on Monday, and I think Chas wanted to make sure he’d got a mooring to meet her there. We'll catch up with him in the next couple of days.

Locks 0, miles 2¼

1 comment:

Nb Yarwood said...

Hi Geoff & Mags
It was lovely to see you all again, thank you for your super hospitality and the homemade super - gingercake next time Mags!!
Have a good one
Lesley and Joe