After a night on the 24 hour moorings at Kinver we pulled pins at 07.10 and started our journey towards the Shropshire Union canal . I was well impressed that someone had made the effort to make these garden gates look like lock gates at this lock cottage.
I was looking forward to passing the Gardens at Ashwood which are owned by John Massey as believe it or not when we had a house I was a keen Gardener. I have read about these Gardens and seen them featured on TV .Although the Gardens looked brilliant I was not so impressed with the sign. It’s a bleeding towpath Mr and anyone can moor there , If people don’t like having a canal at the bottom of the Garden then put a 10 foot fence/wall up to block the view of all those horrid boats...or move away !
Moving on and after a couple of single locks we arrived at Botterham staircase locks . This is two locks joined together with no pound in between them . Looking back at Inca moored on the lock landing you can see a torrent of water coming down the side of the lock. The boat in front of us had gone up into the bottom lock and the person working the paddles had opened the paddles on that lock and the top lock ,hence flooding the bottom lock. Needless to say Carolyn was soon on the case and in no time had the situation under control.
Our next lock flight was The Bratch flight of 3 locks. They actually look like they are a staircase of 3 locks ,but there are short pounds in between each lock. The pounds only being a few feet long do not allow boats to pass. These locks were originally built by Brindley but were later separated with side ponds built to speed up movement through them and save water.
Luckily with this flight there is usually a lock keeper on duty which is a good thing. As you can see Carolyn is getting instructed on the use of the lock flight where you have Blue and Red paddles to operate.
At the top of these locks we picked up what we thought was a lovely peaceful mooring for the night. All was fine until about 7 o’clock in the evening when it sounded like a pack of angry dogs were on the rampage. We later found out that next to the cricket pitch moorings where we were there was a Greyhound rescue centre, Carolyn spoke to a local who said that every time a new dog arrives they all kick off. Anyway at least someone is doing something for these not wanted retired racing dogs.
The following morning we had a bit of a late start and pulled pins at 09.10 . At our first lock of the day we were greeted by this digger in the middle of the canal. It seems that they are dredging the canal in front of the lock which is always a good thing .There was a sign saying delays of up to 30 minutes,but the guy just moved to the side and let us straight in to the lock.
We had just the one lock to go through which dropped us down the great height of about a foot. After filling with water at the services we cruised on for another hour to a good mooring we have used a few times before about a mile from Brewood. Hopefully we will have an early start in the morning as we want to get a good days cruising in and push on up the Shroppie ….