Sunday, 18 February 2018
Overwinter Cruise - Week 16
Sunday 11th February - Whittington Lock
Today we stayed at Whittington Lock and went for a lovely walk along the canal, following the Worcestershire Way, up onto Kinver Edge and back down to the canal.
For Christmas last year I was given a subscription to OS map downloads and can use it to plot a route and follow it on a mobile phone using GPS. Our route is in blue.
Monday 12th February -Whittington Lock to Stourbridge
Today we began our trip to Stourbridge, here we are cruising through the village of Kinver before stopping above the lock and putting on water.
At Hyde lock the cottage has used scaled down lock gates as their garden gate, very impressive!
We then got to Stourton Junction and turned right and straight into the first of 4 locks up the Stourbridge Canal.
After a couple of miles we came to the Wordsley Junction and again turned right into the Stourbridge Town Arm.
This is a stretch of lock free canal for about a mile ending at the fine Bonded Warehouse restored as the headquarters of Stourbridge Navigation Trust. It was originally built in 1790 and enlarged in 1849, the ground floor used to be open to allow unloading from narrowboats which used to trade here.
Much of the arm beyond the rebuilt footbridge is used by permanent moorers.
We moored outside the town overnight and spent the afternoon exploring Stourbridge.
Tuesday 13th February - Stourbridge to Hinksford
We set off from Stourbridge and retraced our journey back along the Town Arm.
Stourbridge was a major glass making centre for 375 years, but following the end of WW2 the industry gradually declined and Tudor Crystal is one of the few surviving factories specialising in cut crystal.
At the end of the arm we turned left heading back towards Stourton Junction and the Staffs and Worcestshire canal.
The last time we were on this canal we broke down and had to moor here to wait for the River Canal Rescue man to come and mend our boat! No problems this time though!
A very sad sight - a shell of a narrowboat, possibly a wooden hull, so fairly old, but with no other distinguishing marks.
We continued back onto the Staffs and Worcs Canal and then stopped before Hinksford Bridge opposite a Mobile Home Park. A very quiet mooring and a very pleasant pub just over the bridge.
Wednesday 14th February - Hinksford
The weather today has taken a turn for the worse so we have decided to stay here for the day.
It is Valentine's Day and we have treated ourselves to lunch at the pub, very pleasant but we seemed to be sharing the pub with a lot of pensioners so we think we have just had our first OAP lunch!
Thursday 15th February - Hinksford to Bratch Locks
Woke up to a much better day and decided to move onto The Bratch Locks.
On the way I locked the boat up through Botterham staircase lock, 2 locks together.
We found a group of beehives alongside a line of moored boats, I wonder whether they belong to the boats moored here?
We then got to the Bratch Locks and Dave decided to operate the locks. He promised me he would read the notes on the board, but he didn't read to the end and went off to make sure the top locks were full of water.
As these are not staircase locks this is not necessary - moral of the tale always read everything before dashing off with half the information!
The locks are automatically filled with water from the side pounds.
We moored up at the top of the locks in the same place as we did on the way down.
Friday 16th February - Bratch Locks to Brewood
We left the Bratch in brilliant sunshine and set out for a much longer day to Brewood back on the Shropshire Union Canal.
We passed the junction with The Birmingham Canal and the Wolverhampton 21 locks.
The next junction Autherley Junction, we turned on to the Shropshire Union Canal and through the 6 inch stop lock.
Here the canal narrows and is all that remains of the Pendleford stoplock.
The canal then passes under the M54 and for some unknown reason, someone has moored their boat under the bridge. It is incredibly noisy, and there is no access to the motorway here, even if you had a vehicle.
A beautiful Highland Cow, Scottish breed of cow, prized for its full flavoured meat.
And in a garden a solo alpaca munching on the lawn!
We then entered the cutting going towards Gnosall and we were enthralled by the guard of honour presented by these trees, most atmospheric!
We moored up in Gnosall where we met up with Lizzie and her friend, Roz, and had lunch together at The Navigation. We had a lovely time.
Afterwards we continued on our journey to Norbury Junction and moored up again for the night.
This brings us to the end of our 16th week and sees us back onto our home canal.
Week 1 - Brown Week 2 - Purple Week 3 - Dark Blue Week 4 - Light Blue
Week 5 - Green Week 6 - Olive Green Week 7 - Yellow Week 8 - Orange
Week 9 - Pink Week 10 - Dark Pink Week 11 - Dark Brown Week 12 - Light Purple Week 13 - Indigo Week 14 - Blue/Green Week 15 - Dark Green Week 16 - Muddy Green