This week we are moored in the upper basin at Stourport,just off the River Severn. We’re moored on the pontoons and we’ve got unlimited amounts of water and electricity and that is a bit of a luxury for the pair of us.Lisa can have all the Telly she can eat,we can have as many showers a day as we like and I don’t have nightmares at the thought of what is happening to my beloved batteries.The batteries themselves are having a treat with a nice trickle charge and I’ve got the Lappy and the MiFi on charge at the same time,what more can anyone ask for??.We’ve decided to give ourselves a bit of a treat while we spend a few days here and we can use this as a base to go to places in the surrounding area.More about that next week.
Last Tuesday we moved on from the mooring near Blackpole,North of Worcester,between bridges 18 and 19 on the Worcester & Birmingham,where we had spent Monday night.It turned out to be a little less of a good mooring than we had hoped.When we stopped we thought the nearby industrial estate would quieten after about six,wrong,they worked all night and,though we slept ok,it probably wasn’t one of the better choices that I have made.The next day we discovered that another half mile or so would have got us to what looked like a good place to moor.Still,that’s how things can be,in the past we’ve kept on going for hours before finding a place for the night,so,being a bit wiser now,we do like to take the first opportunity.
Take Tuesday for instance.We had only done 3 miles or so when we came out of a bridge hole,into a wide bit of canal with shortish growth on the wide towpath,and decided to stop.It was lovely,so good in fact that we stopped for two nights.It was just near Oddingley with the nearby Parish Church of St.James overlooking us,we couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay.
The view from our mooring on Tuesday and Wednesday,with the Parish Church of St.James,Oddingley to the left.The house in the picture is up for sale at just £675,000,if your interested.Yours truly taking it easy before a gentle stroll to The Fir Tree Inn at nearby Dunhampstead after tea.
On Thursday we did the next two and a half miles along the Worcester & Birmingham before turning very sharp left onto the Droitwich Junction canal just past Hanbury Wharf.Here’s the first of three locks we encountered after we entered the Droitwich.These are the first locks with Side Pounds that we have ever used,in fact they are the first that we’ve seen that work.About a third of the water at each locking is saved by diverting it into and out of the pound alongside the lock,hence,Side Pound.The paddles on the left are opened first when emptying the lock and then first when filling the lock.Clever.Volunteers from CRT were on hand to help us down the flight and show us how to work them.
The locks are deep,each one drops you down about 11 feet.The Droitwich Junction Canal was reopened in 2011 after a lot of hard work from many volunteers.It was one of the last canals to be built when it opened in 1854 but was abandoned in 1939.
A bit like a scene from The African Queen,it’s a bit deceiving though ‘cos there’s just about enough room for a couple of Narrowboats to pass with care through the reeds.It does open out a bit further on,here’s the Staircase Locks 4 & 5.
Chyandour waiting to leave the staircase and Lisa working Lock 6 to get us down onto the River Salwarpe and the next obstacle to our progress.
It says Limited Headroom and it means it.That Gauge was so low that it was scraping along the things we have on our roof but,it’s wrong by about 3 inches.We continued the few yards till we got to the M5 Tunnel,it’s a bridge really,and squeezed through with about an inch or so to spare,with full tanks our height is 6 feet 1 inch.I think that the recent dry spell made it possible for us to get through.From there we cruised into Droitwich itself where we stayed in Netherwich basin until Sunday morning and an early start,early by our standards anyway.There are pontoons in the basin and the moorings are gated so it’s a good place to stay to explore the town which has some interesting history.
Droitwich Barge Canal,a broad canal,unlike the Droitwich Junction.This canal was one of James Brindley’s canals and opened in 1771,it too was abandoned in 1939.The end of the canal at Hawford Junction with the River Severn.I took this from our mooring on Sunday night,there’s a pontoon just downstream from the exit of Hawford Lock 8 onto the Severn and it’s not marked on any of the guides that we use.You can see the Lock Landing to Lock 8 on the right of the pic’.This morning we left Hawford junction to do the eight and a half miles to here at Stourport where,after a bit of umming and arring,we decided to leave the moorings on the Severn and come up through the two Staircase Locks and into the basin at the end of the Staffs & Worcs,below York Street Lock.
The river this morning at something silly o’clock,I got up to use the bathroom but you don’t really need to know that,I looked outside and this is the view that I got.Chyandour heading upstream on the Severn,destination Stourbridge.
Lisa as we waited at Holt Lock on the Severn,there’s a Waterpoint here so we made use of that while we waited.The last Lock of the day,the staircase locks leading to the upper basin here in Stourport.
That’s all for this week again folks,Since last week we have done 30 Locks and 22 Miles,giving us a Grand Total of 905 Locks and 1486 Miles since October 2012.Take care everyone.