Had a great night down the Mucky Duck on Thursday, three guitars, two fiddles and a mandolin plus some decent ale.
As it was time for a major shop we aimed for Rugeley yesterday, passing through Wood End Lock.
I had never noticed these recesses in the bridge parapet before, I can only speculate that in the past the gates were fitted with shorter, bulkier beams that slotted into them when the gates were open, must have been even more awkward than the present right angled ones.
I think these bars were used to slow unpowered boats as they entered the lock, the steerer latching onto them with a hook on a line and presumably snubbing it on a stud, must have been pretty hairy. This may be a Wikipedia moment and be totally inaccurate so you can take it as true or false as you think fit.
The top gate has one ground paddle and a gate paddle and it fills a lot quicker than the Coventry Canal locks, and that is Wood End Lock.
At Armitage you pass the well known pottery
As they are wrapped in poly it's a bit difficult to pick out what's on the pallets but anyone who has been past there will know.
We're now topped up with victuals and have moved up to near bridge 69 overlooking the Trent Valley and being stared at by some very nosey sheep, through the mist and rain.