Babe on board

Wolverley to Stourport-on-Severn :  6.2 miles,  6 locks
        Young Aisha was on board today

– she’s less than forty days old and in her entourage were mum (the A&E doctor), dad and three grandparents.

So Aisha is now the current holder of the youngest crew member badge!
         From Wolverley to the liaison point right alongside Sainsbury’s in Kidderminster involved 2 locks and less than 2 miles.  Gone were last night’s revellers at The Lock pub in Wolverley. At 8.30am the school run was in full flow, with cars dropping off pupils for the school bus and just a few pupils making their way to school along the towpath by bike or on foot. There was a quiet weaving stretch and then the fingers of urbanisation began to appear. Towpath side the modern housing developments look more established than two years ago

while on the offside diggers and cranes are preparing a large site for more housing it seems. 

A walker passed by with a Sainsbury’s carrier bag: “We must be close now,” commented the Captain – and there they were, large easy mooring rings right outside the superstore,

recycling skips the far side of the car park. Perfect!                           
            Visiting crew were barely loaded when an upcoming boater emerged from Kidderminster Lock,

leaving gates open and ready for Cleddau. As the boat slid into and down through the lock the grandmothers gazed from the cabin window, the A&E doctor surveyed operations from the front deck, the Captain instructed New Dad into how to operate paddle gear while Boatwif and the grandfather kept watch from the back deck… Kidderminster Lock delivers boaters into a black watery corridor, an underpass beneath a local road and the A456. With the paddle-winders and gate-pushers back on board the boat cruised on. Soon more useful mooring rings were reached (just beside the old Kidderminster Carpets factory) and proper joined up conversations could begin.  There were questions of course about boats and boating and canal routes. Then the world suddenly seemed smaller: Karachi grandmother has a sister in LA and she too has visited San Diego!  All too soon the visitors jumped ship – and Cleddau continued downhill to Stourport.
         There was Caldwell Lock, overhung by the rich coloured sandstone.

Then there was Falling Sands Lock, made tricky by the addition of anti-vandal locks. A mile or so further on and the canal begins its creep past pretty back gardens

and then town businesses.          
      York Street Lock down into the basins was busy…

There seem to be more occupants in the new apartments around the Lichfield Basin now

and the fairground on the riverside,

open at 4pm  with lights flashing on the rides, had no takers.  Minds had to focus on boating needs: more gas, more diesel, more water, a longer bow rope for the river locks and the anchor tied onto the front T-bar – for tomorrow it’s out onto the River Severn,

heading downstream for the Droitwich Canals…

       (And tomorrow, Cal Son in San Diego surrenders his thirties to become 40!)

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