Sunday, 16 March 2008

History For Sale.

16 locks and 5½ miles, Now moored at Lock 36 Stratford on Avon Canal

With the weather forecast being for light showers we pushed off with the plan of seeing how far we could get before the weather broke. The stoppage on the Wilmcote flight has been extended to the 17th due to problem's refilling the flight so we are in no great rush. It was only a short trip to the Kingswood junction where we turned onto the Stratford canal.


Stratford here we come

Coming into the basin between lock's 20, 21, and 22 (I'll let you figure that one out) was like going through a time warp back in time. It was obvious from the onset that we are going to enjoy this canal immensely. Of course split bridge's for the horse's rope and the domed roofed lock keepers cottage's are a feature here, some cottages are in original condition and some have been added onto but still retaining the original features.



There is one on the property market which has been added onto and is now a 4 bedroom house. Handy to the M40, very tidy property with a couple of railway good's wagon's on sight for sheds. They are well maintained and still carry the red light for the rear of the train. I think the owner is a bit of a railways buff as he has a weather vane with a steam train on it. Any offer's?

Talking about train's I had the pleasure of seeing a steam train excursion heading south on the Birmingham Stratford line. Six carriages in GWR colours headed by a Castle or a Manor. It caught me by surprise and I didn't get a real good look at the loco due to it's speed, but it was a grand sight.

This canal is not one that you can hurry because the lock's only have a single paddle to drain the lock giving the lock operator plenty of time to look around. There are still sign's around going back to when the Great Western railway owned the canal and information board's telling the story of the canal.

As we entered the Stratford canal another boater told us we were the 3rd boat to have come through this morning but the other 2 must have gone North as most of the locks were in our favour. It wasn't until lock 33 that we met another boat which was a day hire boat and the helmsman, upon seeing us started to move over to the correct side of the canal but then lost the plot and finished up broadside across the canal in front of us. Unfortunately putting our boat hard into reverse threw us off course also which made the situation worse. I went to use the pole to push our bow away from the other boat but I couldn't touch the bottom so this canal has no depth problems. Eventually we got past each other and it turned out that the other crew were foreign tourist's who don't appear to have been shown how to steer the boat properly. By this time it was lightly raining so we started looking for a suitable mooring and found a nice deep mooring just below lock 36. So many times we have tried to moor only to find that our 23 inch draft was too deep and we couldn't get close to the bank.

We have passable internet connection here, poor phone reception and the TV reception is rubbish on the aerial and no satellite and so it's a book or DVD for tonight's entertainment.

952 locks, 1314 miles, 39 Tunnels, 41 swing bridges and 19 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Anonymous said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Celular, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

Val Blundell said...

Hi Derek and Dot

I envy you cruising the Stratford Canal as it is my favourite. I totally agree with you regarding the rubbish around the Birmingham area - it must be a never ending battle for BW. Personally I think that a minimum £500 fine for dumping rubbish would be a good deterrent.


Val Blundell

Les Biggs said...

Hi Dot/Derek
That steam train could have been the Shakespear Express that runs regular from Brum to Stratford.