Thursday, 2 March 2017

Lapworth (foiled by changes to the winter stoppages)

The weather promised to be dry and mild on Wednesday so Buddy and I went for a good walk in the morning to work out the different options for mooring over the next few weeks.  I already knew that we can moor at Lowsonford as there are plenty of places to park the car around the village but I wanted to look by Bucket lock at Yarningdale which is three miles south from where we are currently moored.

Aerial view of Bucket lock - there's a green boat in the lock and the boat by the tennis court is where we like to moor

We have been through Bucket lock several times and often stopped the night or for lunch just south of it next to the tennis courts.  The tennis court belongs to the old lock house which has been greatly extended – you can see the barrel shaped roof of the original lock cottage which is now dwarfed by the main house.  I had noticed cars parked to the right of the lock in the Google earth picture so thought it would be ideal for Karen.

Unfortunately when we got there I found that the entire lane was a private road and, thinking about it, I had realised that before but had forgotten.  The cars belong to the large house and they have to walk across the lock to get access.

Two locks down from where we are currently moored a tree had fallen across the cut.  This must have happened whilst we were on holiday and as so many trees had come down, the contractors had only cut enough back to allow narrowboats to pass.  I assume they will be coming back to remove the rest of the tree when things get quieter.

Partially removed fallen tree a couple of locks down from our current mooring

I mentioned before that I had received a lot of emails from CRT last week telling boaters where stoppages were because of fallen trees.  Stupidly, I didn’t read one of them properly; it was explaining about a lock closure rather than a fallen tree.  The lock in question (lock 30 – Finwod lock) is only about a mile from us and is going to be closed until 18th March so that has put paid to us travelling anywhere in the next few weeks.

Stanking planks for the works at lock 30

Markings on the planks – I will have to ask the guys working there what the significance of the markings is

During our walk I came across a couple more of the old GWR mile markers and realised that they must have had ¼ mile markers as well as ½ mile markers.  I found one that was equidistant between the modern 15 mile marker and the old 15 ½ mile marker.

15 ¼ miles from Kings Norton (10 ¼ from Stratford junction with the River Avon)

As we are clearly going to be stuck at Lapworth for another three weeks I decided to go for a mini-cruise at 5 o’clock.  It really is a sign of spring when it’s still light enough to go for a cruise at that time.  I decided to reverse back nearer to Lapworth junction so that Karen won’t have so far to walk to and from the car each day.  At least I got to do a lock on the cruise even if it was in reverse.  We are now moored where we were going to leave the boat when we went on holiday as the boats that had been there are now gone.

When I got back indoors I found a lovely message from Wendy, a boaty friend of ours.  She lives near here and said she would look out for the boat if we are in the area and need to leave it again.

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