Thursday, 1 October 2009

September Cruise - Day Twenty-one

We left Coven at 8.10 on a cold and cloudy morning for the final leg of our journey. About an hour later we turned from the Staffs and Worcs onto the Shropshire Union at Autherley Junction. Napton hire boats were moored four abreast across the canal on the other side of the stop lock. As we continued north, we passed a surprising number of boats heading south, considering that the canal doesn't go anywhere at the moment. As the morning went on, the sun came out, although it was still quite chilly especially in the long cuttings. We stopped at Brewood and found that Pip and Roger from Windsong were moored a couple of boats along. This time, we were able to have a proper chat.

We walked into Brewood and found a good selection of shops. The butcher was particularly good. BW were doing a lot of work along the canal, mowing and strimming the towpath and clearing lots of overgrowth on the offside.

We set off again for Wheaton Aston to fill with water. All three water points were occupied when we arrived, but Windsong were just about to leave so we took their spot. We had lunch while the tank filled, then continued north, passing Windsong again moored up for the weekend in a nice open spot. It was about 4.15 when we arrived at Norbury Junction, but not wanting to spend the night in the basin we tied up on the visitor moorings. There was plenty of late afternoon sunshine, so we went for a walk up to the bridge. We saw a report on the local TV news the other evening about how the stoppage on the Shroppie is badly affecting businesses like Norbury, now that there's so little passing trade. But the yard does seem to be making the most of the stoppage in one sense: there were eight boats moored across the canal.

19 miles, 2 locks (264, 190)

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