Sparks at Red Bull
Ramsdell Hall (Macc) to Church Lawton (Trent & Mersey): 5 miles, 7 locks
What would the day bring? How far would Cleddau cruise? Much seemed to depend on how to solve a new problem… On return from Seyella yesterday something looked odd. There had been various boat movements during the afternoon and one can understand that boaters might be in a hurry to reach their destinations and then to warm up. Fast boats can dislodge mooring pins; Cleddau fortunately was secured to mooring rings embedded in the towpath. But the rope wrapped round the nearside bollard on the stern was waving in the breeze, while the bollard had become detached from the back deck. The Captain re-secured the stern using the offside bollard and all seemed temporarily well.
Then at the Hall Green lock a boater kindly waved us into the prepared lock.
“In no hurry,” he said. “Are you going far?”
“No, only to Red Bull Services.”
“ Not as far as us then,” came the reply, “We’re going to Norfolk!” And then began an explanation of the family tree… Just below the lock a short boat was struggling to maintain a steady position while Cleddau worked through. “We’re novices,” apologised the girl, “we just started four days ago.”
And so, with various unexpected conversations and a repair completed,
Cleddau was able to cruise on, join the Trent and Mersey Canal at Hardings Wood Junction, drop down six locks, pass the cows queueing patiently for the milking parlour
– and moor in the sunlight at Church Lawton. It’s good to see again the curly metal supports on the lock bridges and the red coloured staining in the canal water.