The problem with Kinver…

Kinver – Kinver is a large village in South Staffordshire district, Staffordshire, England. It is in the far south-west of the county, at the end of the narrow finger of land surrounded by the counties of Shropshire, Worcestershire and the West Midlands. The nearest towns are Stourbridge in the West Midlands, and Kidderminster in Worcestershire. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal passes through, running close to the course of the meandering River Stour. According to the 2001 census Kinver had a population of 6,805.

(The above paragraph is from Wikipedia).

Kinver is an attractive place and in Victorian and Edwardian times it was a popular  destination for outings from the nearby Black Country.

Nowadays the long main street has a prosperous air,

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with a couple of coffee shops, a couple of pubs, an Italian restaurant, some shops selling designer gifts   CS6-05  and craft supplies, as well a waterside cafe beside Kinver Lock.

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Two years ago Boatwif and the Captain took the walk up to the famous Rock Houses, CS6-04   now in the care of the National Trust. See here.   From the nearby vast sandstone Kinver Edge in good visibility there can be some far-reaching views.

As you approach Kinver on the canal from the east there is a fine glimpse of the church, high up (150 feet) above the village buildings.  CS6-03

What a surprise when Boatwif walked up to it on Saturday afternoon. Walked up? Up, yes, up the appropriately named Church Hill,  CS6-08  up past a fine house CS6-10 and a Tudor looking building   CS6-09 to

a junction, then up again to the church hidden by the trees.  CS6-16  Yet from the churchyard the views are wide, across the valley, down onto the village, to the Kinver Edge behind.

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From the churchyard and the chancel end of the church you can detect the fascinating shape of the north aisle. Apparently the danger of roof collapse in the 1960s was serious. The project to stabilise the nave roof and provide a functional well-lit space in the north aisle was completed in the 1970s.

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Enter by the South Transept Door, read the sign.  At four o’clock the church was open, voices and laughter coming from inside. “Do come in,” said a female voice, “We’ve had a wedding, we’re the wedding team, we’re just having some Prosecco before we lock up and go home.” Five of them sat there at a low round table at the back of the church, the lady rector, three women and a man.

It had been a very steep climb, no doubt the colour was up in Boatwif’s face. “Take a seat, can we make you a cup of tea? Or will you have a glass of Prosecco?”  CS6-15

And so for twenty minutes or so Boatwif sat with “the wedding team”, exchanging anecdotes and talk of Kinver’s history, the forts on Kinver Edge and the impact of the Welsh language on schooling in the Principality… How unexpected, thought Boatwif, to walk up here and sit beside someone talking about Abersoch

St Peter’s is a beautiful church and worth a much longer look another time. The footpath downhill is steep and uneven, not really recommended, so down the road again went Boatwif, soon to sip from the very first Pimm’s of the season…    CS6-17

What then is “the problem with Kinver”?  As Cleddau had cruised out of Stewponey Lock about six hours earlier a very helpful pedestrian had explained the current mooring situation at Kinver: a continuous stretch of long term moorings for the half mile above Kinver Lock and a good long stretch of visitor moorings below Kinver Lock, restricted to 24 hours only and no return permitted for 28 days.

Surprised and dismayed the Captain has taken to the keyboard and e-mailed Customer Services at Canal and River Trust. See text below:

24 hour moorings

Why? I appreciate some honey spots in the peak cruising period need restrictions on mooring but two recent areas have caused me great concern over 24 hour moorings. Firstly the excellent new moorings in Macclesfield. Why are they for only 24 hours? This leaves no time for boaters to explore the town which is mainly on the other side of the valley from the canal. There is a great deal more to Macclesfield (Museums, a market, shopping area, leisure centre, bowling alley…) that boaters might like to explore other than the Puss in Boots pub and the local Coop shop near the moorings. Secondly Kinver. Here there are lots and lots of permanent moorings followed by Visitor 24 hour moorings with no return for 28 days. If a visiting boater times it badly there is no time to visit the National Trust Rock Houses on Kinver Edge or to walk the Edge itself. If boaters are on a timetable of less than 28 days what happens if they turn back at Stourport? Having once moored at Kinver there is nowhere to moor legally on their return trip, even to buy such essentials as milk and bread. There must be many other areas on the system where these restrictions will have the effect of driving boaters off the waterways – or the restrictions will just be ignored. Please can I appeal for a review of the 24 hour mooring sites. Could not half of the 24 hour stretches be made 48 hours without causing significant problems? Such a move would not only be appreciated by boaters but also bring commercial benefit to local waterside communities. Regards, etc.

So, after 22 hours only at Kinver, with no time to walk the Edge again, Cleddau and crew  left.  Now she sits a mile or so further on, exactly at the boundary between Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

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The Boundary Stone is four feet from the galley window. CS6-24

Dinner tonight it seems will be eaten in Worcestershire, though bedtime will still be in Staffordshire…

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Stats since last post: 4½ miles, 4 locks

Monkton Moments* to date: 3

(Monkton Moment*- a reference to / recognition of Cleddau’s Pembrokeshire connections)

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2 Responses

  1. Kath says:

    I so agree with you! In so many places that it would be good to explore (Oxford comes to mind) the dreaded 24 hours restricts you! I really don’t think the people who thought up this time limit have actually been boating. I don’t know any boater who thinks its a good idea!
    Kath (nb Herbie)

  2. Les says:

    Reminds me of the The Grand Old Duke of York….. …halfway up he was neither up nor down.

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