The solitude of our mooring was briefly shattered yesterday evening by the arrival of a boat that was obviously past its best!
Our first lock, at Gailey, is a very photographed one with the old Round House, originally a toll office, sitting neatly at its side. Behind the lock the road bridge carries the old Roman road of Watling Street across the canal.
Apart from a hire boat coming round a corner towards us on the wrong side which luckily we avoided although they ended up getting stuck in the reeds. When we got to “Pendeford Rockin”, the 1/2 mile long narrows just before you get to Autherley Junction, Doug walked ahead to make sure nothing was coming the other way.
After the narrows, on the way to Autherley Junction, there’s a line of mature poplar trees almost a mile long. Their height is amazing.
‘Chance’ in the stop lock at Autherley Junction. The lock, which takes us down just 6 inches onto the Shropshire Union Canal. The “Shroppie” is fed by Wolverhampton’s sewage outfall (suitably treated!) which provides the canal with a significant flow as it winds its way north-westwards
We moored up at the very pleasant moorings south of Brewood, just before bridge 8, where we have far reaching views over the Staffordshire countryside. We managed to get some boat cleaning done before the rain started. We walked almost 2 miles along the towpath into Brewood (pronounced Brood) where we were to meet friends for Sunday lunch.
In a few places the towpath is always very muddy and, although we successfully got through most of them, the last bit was too much so we took off our footwear, paddled through the mud and then washed our feet in the canal the other side. Job done.
We met friends Rhiann and Ian and there family at the Bridge Inn, but the new owners are having the kitchens refurbished. So we found an even better pub in the village –The Three Stirrups, where we had a marvellous and very reasonably priced Sunday Lunch (£11.95 for 3 courses).
Blaine, Rhiann, Doug, Natasha, Curtis and Ian tucking in to Sunday lunch at the Three Stirrups. We had a lovely time with you all guys and it was so nice of you to make time to see us. See you all again soon we hope.
After a few hours together in the pub, we walked across the fields and through the woods back to Chance, for a cosy evening whilst its drizzling outside.