Boatwif Blog

1

From county boundary to the River Severn

At the end of the Worcs section of the delightful Staffs and Worcs Canal on Tuesday came an unexpected quandary: what will £7 buy? First though, Monday, when helpers turned out again.  Here were Tim and Janice reporting for duty at the Staffs –Worcs boundary stone near Caunsall.      Still heading south west the remaining 9 miles of this canal lie in Worcestershire. Through trees the canal winds, the River Stour never far away. How hard it must have been to...

2

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...

0

Narrows, circles – and extra crew

Locks can be sociable places. Boaters gather around a lock chamber and, even before there’s any discussion about the weather, the “Where are you going to?” and “How far have you come?” exchanges are started. At Penkridge (in Staffordshire)  on Wednesday morning    one upcoming boater was refilling his water tank to then potter along a bit further in what were his home waters. One descending boater had set her destination as Penkridge  “ to go to the market today,” while...

0

South west through Staffs

Tixall Wide to Penkridge Cleddau and crew might be on an extended cruise but ordinary life has to go on – hence a need for an open Post Office on Monday morning.  It took a 25 minute towpath walk back from Tixall Wide to Great Haywood, where the Post Office is in the mini-market. Here was a surprise – it’s open between 0600 and 1945 each day (until 1900 on Tuesdays). Birthday card to Cal Son safely mailed to California...

1

Delays, guests and gifts

From Stone to Tixall Wide – simple, just 10½ miles and four locks. Why then, did a trip that can be done in four hours take nearer six? South of Stone the properties have expensively furnished gardens.     A few years ago the Cheshire One, during an elephant phase, used to delight and giggle at the sight in a local garden centre of a massive glossy elephant garden feature, water spouting from its trunk. It would be viewed often, until when...

0

Turn on the light!

(Congleton – Stoke-on-Trent – Wedgewood –Stone) The faint sound of church bells ringing (from Congleton?) drifted over the canal on Sunday morning.  Drifting too was fine rain, soon to become much heavier.  The stunning views of The Cloud were hidden.  Cows cowered under what shelter they could find.     The view from Biddulph Aqueduct over Dane-in-Shaw Pasture SSSI  was a disappointing featureless grey haze… What was not disappointing, however, as boaters who frequently pass this way, was the towpath transformation at Hightown....

3

Southbound – slowly

Grass cut front and back, meetings met and minuted, clothes and gear assembled, car loaded – and at last, after months of winter planning, the Cleddau crew were ready for OFF. Spring-time has been busy with trips to Pembrokeshire and Scotland; the Captain’s voluntary work consumes great swathes of time and cartridge ink, but now the Summer Escape has begun. It was at ten to four on Friday afternoon when Cleddau was reversed back from her mooring pontoon.     (Ten to...

0

Time in the slow lane

A road trip (another!) up to Macc to take The Cheshire One home. What next? Why not have some boat days… and nights? The boat was still in winter mode but a few hours spent refilling the water tank, lighting the solid fuel stove, making up the bed and running the engine soon created a cosy floating residence. Time for a cruise and a systems check at the start of the season – but where to? Favourite getaway destination is...

0

Locks operated – memories unlocked

Yet another good idea from Cheshire Mum: “Why don’t you join us in Wiltshire for a few days in the Easter holidays and then do childcare duties after that?” That simple suggestion involved an east to west and back again criss-cross of the country and a struggle with road routes.  But out west, not far from Devizes, there was a surprise. Right outside the appropriately named Lockside Cottage is Lock 21 of the Kennet and Avon Canal. It was gongoozlers’...

1

Latitude 57º North

The Black Isle is not an island – and neither is it particularly black. This peninsula lying north and east of Inverness gets its name from appearing dark against the white of the often snow-capped mountains that surround it and the grey and blue colours of the sea. Scottish Sis and Sheepman live on the Black Isle, their one-time croft now a low-lying T-shaped comfortable home.     There are six other homes within walking distance although only the lights of one are visible...