Sunday, 19 April 2009

Market Drayton and Norbury Junction

Many fantastic photos went untaken today, thanks to the uncharged camera.

It was a cool and misty morning when we checked out of the hotel, but by the time we'd driven to Market Drayton and had breakfast, the sun was out. We found the canal and parked near Bridge 62, and first walked a little way north to look at the boat yard and the moorings beyond. Then we turned round and walked south for a couple of miles, taking in Tyrley Locks and the start of the Woodseaves Cutting. By the time we got back to the locks, there were several boats going down (and none at all coming up), and the whole flight looked lovely with the sunshine coming through the trees.

By the time we got back to the car it was 12.30, so we headed for Norbury Junction, which is Debdale's new base. We were amazed at how busy it was. There were dozens of cars parked all over the place, and there was a coach in the pub car park. We decided on lunch at the Norbury Wharf cafe, and sat outside in the sunshine. As we had lunch, we noticed Starcross on the water point opposite, and then with (we assumed) Jim at the helm, going through the bridge to its mooring. We had a quick look round the chandlery, and then bought ice creams to eat as we walked down the towpath. Crossing the bridge over the old Newport Branch we spotted No Problem at the end of the arm, where she's having some work done. Then on the visitor moorings I saw a familiar boat and a familiar face: Kev on 4Evermoore, the very first boat I tested for Canal Boat. We spent several minutes chatting to Kev and Ann, who are just a few days into their year afloat. It was good to catch up, and great to hear that their boat is behaving well. Before heading home, we walked along Norbury's private moorings to say hello to Jim and Hillary from Starcross. It was great to finally meet, having read the Starcross blog for a long time, and to admire the new paintwork.

The journey home took just under three and a half hours, which although quite a bit longer than the trip to Stockton Top isn't too bad. We're not due on board Debdale again until September, but we're both thinking that's far too long to wait! We've had a taste of the Shroppie now, and really want to do it by boat. And with a camera.


Anonymous said...

Thats a very long time between trips. Will you cope?


Jim said...

Good to meet you today, Adam and Adrian. You did well to get home in three and a half hours. It took us two to get to Hereford - but we don't have any motorways of course!

It was exceptionally busy at Norbury Junction today but if you live in Stafford or Stoke its the nearest thing to the seaside for many!

Anonymous said...

One of the joys of blogging is that you always know where all the boats are! Feel free to join us for a day/weekend whenever - we know what it's like to be boating junkies in need of a fix :-)

Adam said...

Sue, that's a very kind offer, and one we may well take you up on! Maybe a lock-heavy day, so I can swing my windlass...