Thursday, 14 July 2011

Mink, flowers and the Devils Den.

It's great having a lockie to help on The Bratch, it's not actually that complicated but having someone to shout at you when you mess it up is reassuring. As we worked through this morning one of the local residents came for a nose around,

it's a mink, nasty little beasts. It showed no fear of us and just went on it's way. Jill suggested a pair of gloves but it'd pushed off by then.
All the locks along this stretch have bridges across the tail, makes for easier working, they all seem to be of different design,

this one, at the bottom of Botterham Staircase is a nice example of cast iron work while the one at Gothersley

is just a slab of concrete.
The garden of the lock cottage at Greensforge was just a riot of colour, dahlias of every hue.

There was also a lovely veg. plot but that's out of shot to the left, use your imagination.

Below Gothersley Lock is the site of a circular toll house, originally the same as the one that still exists at Gailey. This one was demolished long ago, the site now marked by a circle of brick.

The canal is now dominated by the red sandstone that is such a feature of this stretch, the same stone that is a feature of the Shroppie at Gnosall and Tyrley.

If you peer closely you can just make out the entrance to the Devils Den, now all nicely blocked off by B.W., either because it was being used by drug addicts or because it's used by bats, they don't seem sure which.
It seems it was originally a boat-house, all I can say is they must have been very small boats.
We've moored for the night at Stourton Junction,

at the bottom of the Stourton Locks.

We're aiming to stop at Kinver tomorrow, if there is room to moor.

Watch this space..............

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