Monday was going to be our last day on the Staffordshire & Worcester (or Staffs & Worcs, pronounced Staffs and Woosts).
Judith (my sister) and Nigel are coming up to see us this weekend assuming we have made it to the centre of Birmingham. Also, my father is really keen to see Birmingham from the water so the plan is that he comes down from Yorkshire next Sunday and we have a cruise around the back ways all day on Monday. We can get within 200 yards from New Street station so that will be handy for him.
I keep meaning to mention Buddy’s reaction when he first goes out each morning. He stands on deck waiting for me to get my bootlaces tied. The look on his face is always a surprise because he never knows where we are – it’s like a new home every day.
The rain stopped by 11 so we set off to the bottom of the Wolverhampton flight of 21 locks. We passed the first Japanese Knotweed site we have ever seen.
We went under yet another motorway; the M45.
There was a ½ mile section that is only wide enough for one boat so Karen had to go ahead and make sure no boats came through. The channel is cut through rock with the odd passing place.
We passed Autherley junction where the Shropshire Union canal (the Shroppie) heads off north to Chester.
We stopped at a boat yard just before Aldersley junction to fill up with fuel, water and gas. We moored for the night opposite the boat yard which has its own bar. They were keen for us to go over there when they opened at 7.30 – it was a strange place just like their front room and no advertising to the outside world. It seems it’s just for the boaters moored up around the yard.
We went for a late afternoon walk to have a look at the first locks on the flight. This is the first lock right at Aldersley junction.
The Staffs and Worcs carries on to Stourport and we will go on the Birmingham Main Line up the flight.
The boat yard had this mini narrow boat on a trailer – really sweet but only useful for little day cruises I would think.