Wednesday, 14 June 2017

All change - twice over

Monday 12th June 2017
Lapworth to Lowsonford
2.5 miles, 15 locks

Firstly, I must apologise for the odd ‘framing’ on most of today’s photos – the lens cover on my camera has started to stick.  I had noticed it was not shutting properly and found a way round that, but it was not until I looked at the pictures that I realised it was not opening properly.  I fear a trip to a camera shop might be in order when we get to Stratford!

A short while before we set off this boat came up the locks, so at least a few would be in our favour.  I spotted this boat fairly recently around Tardebigge or Stoke Prior.  I am pretty certain we have crossed paths on one of our trips with Cleddau, but I cannot remember where or when – may Sue can help?  It is a memorable name – possibly a retired firefighter?

We are used to by-washes at the locks for water run off on the Worcester Birmingham Canal – here they have waterfalls

Just as we were about to leave the last lock before the service area we spotted two boats waiting to go down the rest of the locks, which was likely to mean empty locks for us to fill before entering all the way down the flight.  Still  it was not raining and we weren't in a hurry - it just means a bit more work to keep us fit!

Whilst Chris dealt with emptying and filling as required (we did take on lot more water than we felt we had used, so hopefully now we think we have stopped the leak our water usage will be less!) Monty and I went to the shop for the paper.  It may only be a small shop, but it is well stocked with the basics and a very helpful proprietor.  On Saturday they did not have the magazine and other bits for the paper, so he said he would put one aside for me on Sunday and Monday.   Both days as I walked in the door he had the paper waiting for me on the counter.  First class service and much appreciated.

The first of the barrel roofed cottages found on the Stratford Canal is beside the service block.

We always understood that the reason for the barrel rooves was because the builders were bridge builders as per this information board
However if you wind the handle on one of the information recordings further up the canal you are told it was because you don’t need roof rafters, hence saving on wood.  It also states that ‘they are mostly watertight’!

The above also sent me scurrying to find out the correct spelling for the plural of the word 'roof'.  I am sure I have always used 'rooves'.  Apparently that is only used by people old enough to have read the Oxford English Dictionary!  That will be me then.  Sue (and any other current or retired English teachers) what is you take on this?

Monty and I were on the wrong side of the canal for the facilities and he will not/cannot go across these gates, 

so a command of ‘cross the bridge’ sent him scurrying down to the other end of the lock, across the bridge and to the other side of the lock before I had clambered across!  Much to the amusement, if not amazement of the onlookers.  Mind you considering it is a good 9 months since he was last asked to do this I was pretty impressed as well!

This to me is what epitomises this life – sheep grazing in the fields, birds singing in the trees – utter peace – bliss

Sadly it does not last for long before the peace is shattered by the intrusion of the M42 yet again.  It is audible at lock 26, but by 27 it is also very visible.  Definitely not an area to moor in.

This is a much bigger extended barrel roofed cottage – I would love to see inside!

Towards the end of today’s trip we came across these

With the resulting mess, but it has to be done.  Thankfully it was just in the lock and not all over our boat.

This was our first mooring at Lowsonford - almost as far back as you can get 

but after lunch it was 'all change' and we pulled forward

why you may wonder - well we had five reasons – the grass had been cut already, there were mooring rings, the towpath was wider and flatter just in case it was nice enough to christen our new boat BBQ (it wasn't), it was cleaner (I had had to use three dog bags to clear up what other dog owners had left behind at the first mooring – yuk and we hoped we had got internet.  
We were just in time as it was not long before two other boats came along looking for moorings.

The Fleur de Lys - a pretty good pub, but we had no need of their services today

A good reason to stop in Lowsonford – a trip up the hill to the farm shop – it is quite a climb, but worth it.

And yes, there were plenty of free range hens and ducks running around the farm yard.
As it turned out the internet was not brilliant – a matter of feet made all the difference.  To post the day before yesterday I ended up sitting in the bow surrounded by the washing with the phone as far forward as possible!  A matter of feet made all the difference, but it was still intermittent

And finally spotted by Chris en route today
We reckon that if you are near Shakespeare's town of birth it is a good idea to use 'proper words'.

Tues 13th June 2017
Lowsonford to Wootton Wawen
3.75 miles, 8 locks

Today looked as though it would be warm and sunny, however the sun did not make too many appearances, however, it was warmer than it has been recently.  This barrel roofed cottage is by the lock (our first for the day) at Lowsonford and is a Landmark Trust Property - HERE

As we arrived at the second lock there was a boat leaving having just gone down the lock, so another day of extra work to keep us that little bit fitter!! 

One lock on this stretch is immediately after Yarningale Aqueduct

The cottage at this lock (Buckett Lock Cottage) has been extensively extended

And on the other side of the canal is their parking area and garage/outhouse.

As we arrived at Preston Baggot we came across boats coming and going – it was good to be able to stop and pass the time of day

As we approached Wootton Wawen Monty and I jumped ship to walk ahead to see if there were any free moorings – there weren’t! We moored as far away as we could be from the bridge leading into WW.  Today was Chris’ birthday, so his choice was for a pint and a sandwich in The Navigation.  Both were good.

He then went back to the boat and I headed into WW itself to the shop. I caught up with the people on the boat we had followed all morning who call the shop ‘Arkwrights’ – an appropriate name as the shelves are piled high.  Shopping done I wandered round the Craft Centre and Farm Shop before heading back to the boat.  Years ago there used to be a craft shop mostly stocked with card making supplies.  As a card maker it was heaven for me and I bought by first big guillotine there more years ago than I care to remember.  Now there is a boutique, a posh lingerie and swim wear shop, an antiques shop and a jewellery shop - all made on the premises.  It is still worth a browse and the farm shop and cafe are not to be missed.  When I got to the bridge where I had to turn left to follow the towpath back to the boat, something made me look right and it is just as well I did as ‘all change’ had occurred again.  A couple of boats had left the basin moorings, so Chris had moved us along to take a mooring with rings that was also a bit further away from several more ‘alternative lifestyle’ boats.

Our neighbours for the night

And so to dinner - it was not warm enough to eat outside, but we did christen the barbecue!  And very good it was too.


Jane M said...

Happy Belated Birthday Chris! Glad the Bar B Q worked out - today was an excellent day for another. Happy wanderings - oh and yes I remember 'rooves'. Sadly we also remember the plural of 'foot' is 'feet' - seems to be very rarely used on the BBC and other media these days - we are all obviously INCREDIBLY old!

Jennie said...

Hi Jane, Chris says thank you for the birthday wishes. We did get the BBQ out again tonight, however despite the lovely weather the towpath is not wide enough here to get the table and chairs out. Yes I am afraid we are all INCREDIBLY old!! Still better than the alternative. Jennie