Sunday, 5 January 2014

The Shropshire Union at last.

Definitely still a case of dodging the weather. Yesterday we left Penkridge, hoping that the Met. Office had got it right.
Above Penkridge Lock we stopped for water and brought out our self pump out. Fifteen minutes of vigorous pumping and all was done. Another fifteen quid saved. The fifteen minutes included setting it up and, after cleaning it through, packing it away. About the same time it took to fill the water tank.
From Otherton to Rodbaston locks this normally meandering canal is forced by the motorway into an arrow straight half a mile.

 At Rodbaston you have the traffic just about in your lap. Makes you realise how lucky we are to be, generally, far from the rush of life in the fast lane.
By the next lock all is peaceful again.

I wonder who Bogg was. Can't forgive C&RT for the missing apostrophe.
At Brick Kiln Lock there is a fine view across the fields to the next lock.

Gailey with its renowned round house.

As you approach it looms over the A5 bridge and the entrance to the lock.

The bridge is so close to the bottom gates that there is no room for normal beams to swing so they are at right angles to the gates, which makes for hard work. I know it's generally Jill who is seen doing the hard graft at locks but that is her choice, so, being a perfect gentleman, I let her have her way.

As this is affixed to the wall beside the door to the toilet I am unsure if it is a directional instruction or an exhortation to virtue.
Yet another disused junction.

Another long abandoned route down from the Black Country. It once linked the Staffs & Worcs. to the Cannock Extension Canal. As a large section of it was lost to opencast mining it makes for a difficult restoration but plans are in hand.
We spent the night at Coven and bright and early this morning we were on our way again. Actually it wasn't that early and definitely not that bright, I think I'm going down with the dreaded man 'flu.

Not long before you arrive at Cut End, a.k.a. Autherley Junction, there is a long, narrow rockin' to get through.

It gets quite claustrophobic at times. There are places along its length where it opens out enough to allow two boats to pass but I always wonder what happened if two pairs met.

Then at last, the stop lock at Cut End. When the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal was built in the early 19th C. the older Staffs & Worcs. insisted that a stop lock should separate the waters of the two canals at the junction to stop the new canal stealing it's water. The B.&L.J. is now the mainline of the Shropshire Union.
Oh look, who's that doing all the work?
Well I have got man 'flu.
S.U.C.S. moorings between bridges 7 & 8. Pleasantly quiet at this time of year, a day or two here I think.

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


Halfie said...

Re. Bogg's Lock's missing apostrophe - never mind, you have a spare one in your last chunk of text!

Graham and Jill Findlay said...

I wondered how long it would take for someone to spot that.