We set off to Brewood on Friday morning. This section of the Shroppie is a relatively recent canal, opened in 1835, and more mechanisation was available. Consequently there are many embankments and cuttings and therefore fewer locks. It also means that there are long straight sections rather than older canals that followed contours wherever possible.
It sounded like it might be a bit boring but the constant change from cutting to embankment makes you forget you are on a straight stretch. The canal is fairly wide but in some places does become very narrow and not wide enough for two boats to pass.
The rubbing strakes to protect ropes wearing the stones on the bridges all appear to be in place still.
We came across our first pre-cast stanking plank holder.
There are very few villages on the canal and it is really peaceful apart from when we went under the M54.
The bridges seem to be stone built and tend to be nice and high and wide so we don’t have to worry about losing anything from the roof.
At least there is plenty of wild garlic growing here so we have a ready supply of leaves whenever we need some for cooking.
We also came across a modern stanking plank shed.
After mooring to the south of Brewood we walked into it and found it was a really pleasant village. It has two proper greengrocers, a butchers and a couple of florists so that ranks high in our 'nice' scale.
Considering it is so small we were surprised it has five pubs but we suspect it gets a lot of tourists especially from holidaying boaters. In fact, we could feel a buzz in the atmosphere as if there was an anticipation of the first big influx of the year coming up because of Easter. When we walked into Brewood we looked at the visitor moorings and there were only two boats moored there. One of them was Bumple Bee who we have met a few times, such as on the Ashby and on the Trent & Mersey. When we went back in the evening for a drink in The Bridge Inn there must have been a dozen boats there and only space for one more.
The four windows on the right of this house were painted on, which was a bit strange. It got us thinking and wondering about why so many windows that were closed to avoid the window tax are still bricked up.