Monday, 15 August 2011

About a long windlass and the best job in the world.

Yesterday was our first day on our own for a week, I'd just about forgotten what it's like not having a locking crew so we decided that rather than tackle Tardebigge and Brum. again we would go back to Worcester and up the river.

Even the local wildlife was waiting to see how we coped without the crew. The top paddles on the Astwood Flight are real eye-poppers, have your truss ready. Luckily we are the proud owners of the longest windlass I have seen. Don't ask me where it came from, we acquired it at 0600 one morning from the side of a lock where it had obviously been abandoned, a diligent hunt for the owner was all in vain so we have cared for it ever since. It doesn't see a lot of use but on a stubborn paddle it is a best friend.
At Hanbury Wharf one of the local dignitaries was alongside the cut,

it's not every day that you see the local mayor frequenting the towpath,

especially a jovial cove like this. It turned out that there was a twenty-six mile sponsored walk in aid of the local hospice and he was waiting to welcome the exhausted participants. NB. He was not actually walking.
We moored at Oddingley again.

There is a real piece of living history here, it is one of the few manned level crossings left. The crossing keeper sits in his little cabin and when the occasional car turns up, as long as there is no train coming, he pops out and opens the gates and lets the car through, he then shuts the gates and returns to his cabin. That is his job for twelve hours a day. The duty man we spoke to is an artist so he spends his time drawing and painting. I wish I'd found a job like that. He also gets sixteen days a month off, good eh?
Tomorrow Worcester (again).

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

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