Thursday, 24 February 2011

Stourbridge flight

On Sunday, we thought we'd like to break our journey home with a canal fix.  So I sent a text to Lesley on Caxton, to see if they were still at Merry Hill.  She phoned as we ate breakfast, from halfway down the Delph Flight.

A couple of hours later, we parked the car at the end of the Stourbridge Town Arm, and walked along the arm to the bottom of the Stourbridge Locks.

We continued up the locks, and eventually found Caxton at Lock 8.

This is a route we've tried to do a few times, but have always been thwarted -- by rivers in flood, a breach, and stoppages.  So it was good to be able to help work Caxton down the bottom half of the flight.

Locks 9 and 10 are very close together, Bratch style, with a large side pond.

Slightly further down is the historic Dadsfords Shed, and a huge bottle kiln from the glass industry.

Once we were down the locks, Lesley supplied us with very welcome tea and coffee, plus plenty of advice for our planned trip on the Weaver in June.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Dutton Locks

On Saturday, we visited family near Chester.  We were telling them about our plans to go down the Anderton Lift and visit the River Weaver during our fortnight on board in June.  It turns out that one of their regular dog walks is down by Dutton Locks on the Weaver, so we went to have a look.

On the way, we cross the Weaver at Acton Bridge, passed the Black Prince hire base on the canal, and went back over the canal.  We parked the cars, walked across a field, through a reserve owned by the Woodland Trust, and then came out to the weir stream round the locks, which is crossed by a rather nice white bridge.

This bridge (which is a bit rotten in places), appears to be earmarked for demolition, although there's no sign of anything happening at the moment.  There are two locks: large, and enormous.

Above the locks are the remains of a partly sunken boat.

It was a useful trip.  We spotted visitor moorings and a water point, and even though the river is fairly wide, it's not of epic proportions.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Start of the season

On Friday, we went up to Norbury Wharf to check Debdale's winter works, and to help our fellow owner who was re-hanging all the curtains after cleaning.  It was a bitterly cold day and just a few boats were going out, so the basin was quite full.  Debdale is along the far end of this line of boats.  Debdale was due out on Saturday, at the start of a busy season.  Once we'd made sure everything was OK, we headed further north and ended up having quite a canal-ish weekend.  Of which more over the next few days.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Moment in Time on test

We've been away, and during the holiday the March edition of Canal Boat came out.  It includes my boat test of Moment in Time, a Fernwood boat which has been planned down to the size of every cupboard and drawer.