Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Lapworth (trip to the coal merchants)

Tuesday started frosty but it soon thawed and it felt like being a mild day with the sun breaking out.  It was whilst on my morning walk with Buddy that I remembered that he doesn’t like the Stratford canal because there are not many places he can get down and drink the water.  Most canals have bridges where the towpath and cut both go through the bridge hole and the drop to the water is shallow enough for a dog to crouch down and lap some water.  The towpath on this canal goes round the bridges so the same opportunity doesn’t exist.

One of the few watering holes – the brickwork has fallen away making it easier for Buddy to reach the water
As we neared the spot where I was going to move the boat to next I noticed three boats had appeared since yesterday.  I recognised two of them as local continuous cruisers but the middle  boat was new to me.  As we went past a lady appeared on deck with her dog and introduced herself as Mandy.  It turned out that she and her husband are in the reverse situation to us.  She has retired and her husband goes to work – they have lived on their boat for nine years and continuous cruise keeping Birmingham as their focal point.

Boats moored where we were hoping to go next

The boat nearest the camera was built by Dream Narrowboats, run a couple that we have met a few times up in Middlewich.  In fact they built Karen’s cousin Dave’s boat three years ago.  All their boats that we have seen have had the word ‘dream’ in their names – apart from Dave and Barbara’s.  They have now dissolved the company and they have moved onto the last boat they built, aptly called, ‘The Last Dream’.

It really was a still day and even though there is a flow to the water from the overspill weirs there were some good, if somewhat grey, reflections.

No fuel boats ply their trade along the Stratford canal.  I assume because there are very few permanent moorings and there are too many locks to make it cost effective for deliveries.  As we are running low on coal I drove to a coal merchants at Hockley Heath and bought a few bags in the afternoon.  As we are moored quite a way from the road it took over an hour to trolley them all back to the boat.  Yes, I know a wheelbarrow would make the job quicker but I don’t have one.

Whilst ferrying the coal I noticed a mile marker that I hadn’t seen before.  Not sure why I hadn’t seen it before because it’s in a very obvious place by a lock.

The only modern ½ mile marker I’ve seen on the Stratford canal.  It's probably the only one as it is outside the waterways offices.

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