Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tixall Wide and Penkridge parts 1 and 2 11th-13th September 2014

11th September 2014
The Delights of Tixall Wide
4.25 miles, 2 locks

The weather just gets better and better.  I could not resist this view as Monty and I walked to Weston lock. 

When we arrived at the lock there was one boat waiting to go down – nb Daisy from Horsham (we lived near there for over 16 years).

Chris and Monty settled in to wait

At Hoo Mill lock there were two boats ahead of us

And two waiting to come up

We were in no hurry and the weather was glorious.  We arrived at Great Haywood and found a mooring opposite the café.  Lunch (yes Captain from nb Cleddau – I had some oatcakes!) in the café and a mooch round the shop – lots of wonderful fresh produce.  We then moved to the water point, filled up with water, deposited rubbish and then moved round to Anglo Welsh for diesel.

Whilst there this boat came through – does anyone else steer like this?

Time to duck

Just a short trip to Tixall Wide our destination for tonight.  We passed these comfy looking chairs.

 Would we be lucky
Someone was smiling down on us - just one space and almost at the widest point – there were boats behind

And ahead as far as the eye could see

What a view from the sidehatch

The weather was just too good not to get the chairs out and a glass of Pimms.  It was so peaceful – a light breeze rippling through the bulrushes, birds singing, the odd hum of conversation and the occasional excitement when our neighbour caught a fish.  Bliss. 

The final treat was the sunset – I suspect I missed the best of it – too busy in the galley!!

12th September 2012
A bit further than we thought – Penkridge
9 miles, 5 locks

We had planned on walking back to Haywood lock and then into Great Haywood to get a paper, but thankfully I double checked our route plan only to find I had a day’s journey planned with no date!  This meant we had to go a bit further than planned, so we headed off.  The weather deserted us – it was dull, grey and cloudy nearly all day, but dry.

There were still quite a lot of boats about, but we were never more than second in the queue at locks and despite my error we were still not in a hurry.  Tixall Lock does have some good views despite the gloom as promised in the Nicholson guide

This aqueduct goes over the River Sow.  From 1816 to just after the First World War there was a lock from the canal to the river and it was navigable into Stafford.  Stafford Riverway Link is an organisation that has been set up to promote restoration of this waterway.  Take a look here.  Sadly I think it is a very long way off.  It is hard to imagine that 70 foot narrow boats used to navigate this waterway.

On the outskirts of Baswich we spotted this car – has anyone any idea why the poly bags?

We passed very many ‘static mobile’ homes and a few that were very definitely not going anywhere

Quite a bit of our journey today was narrow and reedy

This house at Deptmore lock was lived in by a very reclusive gentleman for many years.  There was no electricity and no road access.  He had a floating pontoon to get across the canal.  After some years of being derelict the house is being renovated and road access has been established across the fields.

And then we came to Acton Trussell.  Now what does that name conjure up for you?  Pearson’s suggests a ‘chocolate box village’ which it decidedly is not!  It is just a collection of modern housing.  One boater we met said his guide book said that if anywhere in the world deserves a motorway it is Acton Trussell! I am sure the locals would not agree.  We did come across one garden that is obviously someone’s passion.  Chris’ Mum was a dahlia lover, so pleasant thoughts of her floated across our minds as we passed.

It certainly has a motorway – the M6 on a Friday afternoon.  Much too close to the real world for comfort.

We moored just before B86 in Penkridge and our neighbours are lots of little sparrows in the hedge across the towpath

We wandered along the towpath to find a paper shop – success.  Chris had to cross the road and the traffic was stopped there and back by a lollipop lady!  Having been brought up in Southern Ireland this was a first for him.  Second childhood maybe?

13th September 2014
Not as far as we intended – Penkridge again
0.5 miles, 2 locks

We set off this morning intending to go to go past Gailey and stop somewhere around Long Molls Bridge No 76, but we got to the C&RT moorings just half a mile and 2 locks along and decided to stop and explore Penkridge.  We are near the Cross Keys

 and thought about having lunch there, however the options for lunch are very limited – a ham salad or cheese & onion cobb, so we walked back to The Boat where we were moored yesterday.  A much better choice.

Then we headed off to explore Penkridge.  There are some interesting buildings - Note the upstairs windows

Great floral displays

We then headed for the market

by the railway viaduct

 Where there is this mural 

And you can buy anything from taps

To fruit & vege

To Onesies – handy for chilly nights on the boat?!

In fact there was not much you could not buy – even an ice cream for a very grateful dog!  A rare treat for him, but one he does enjoy and this one came free with the cone I had.

Chris popped into Sainsburys on the way back to the boat – he was under surveillance the entire time he was in there much to the amusement of passers by

This was our ‘stash’ from the market – the rollers work out at 30p each, so no excuse not to do some touching up!  We do have some nail clippers on board, but they are in hiding and Monty is very partial to a marrow bone biscuit.

There are some independent shops in Penkridge and I saw this in the window of one and failed to resist temptation and went in and treated myself.

So all in all a rather good day if not what we had planned, but then is that not what this boating lark is all about?  We have days to spare in the plan, so nothing lost.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely to read of your travels along a piece of canal we enjoy too. We are now at Cosgrove heading for Stanton Low today then Milton Keynes tomorrow. Isn't the weather just wonderful! I'm managing to get rust spots scraped and treated with Firtan - primer next, then undercoat at least before we head back to NZ. Cheers, Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)