Fradley (meeting up with friends)

Friday promised to be a gorgeous day and as we had 18 miles to travel to Fradley to meet up with friends we set off early.  This maple tree caught our eye against the green of the other trees.

At Tamworth we passed Glascote basin.  It used to be owned by a well known boatbuilder who built top of the range boats that cost well into the six figure mark.  Unfortunately he recently died and the yard is up for sale and is now used for moorings.
When we got to the two locks at Tamworth we joined a queue so had lunch whilst we moved up the queue.

The bottom lock was very leaky and took ages to fill – one of the reasons that queues form here.

This is the all that is left of an old iron swing bridge – it is next to a hall that Edwin Starr used to live in at Polesworth.

Near the end of the Coventry canal at Tamworth we crossed the River Tame which I suspect is where Tamworth got its name from.  The left hand picture was taken when we came over in January when it was very cold and bleak

At Fazeley we joined the Birmingham & Fazeley canal.  Left goes down to Birmingham but we headed right to go up to Fradley to join the Trent & Mersey.

Murals brighten up the junction.

The canal was quite different to when we came up in the winter and reed beds made it very narrow in places and we just hoped boats weren’t coming in the opposite direction.

It was refreshing to get back to bridges with name plates rather than numbers and also to see stanking plank stores built into the bridges.  These two points seem to be peculiar to this canal – well, we haven’t been on any other canal that has these two facets.

We are amazed that Buddy never falls off the boat – here he is trying to get near some ducks on the bank.

You can’t really tell but the girl with the two white dogs following her also had a black dog in the pannier. We had passed her a mile or so previously and all three dogs were following then.

At Huddlesford, where the Wyrley & Essington canal used to go off to North Birmingham, they were getting ready for a weekend boat festival.  By the end of the day all the boats would be covered in bunting and the pubs would be full.  Here are a few shots of the visiting boats.

And here are three of the trade boats who were open for business.

Fradley Junction was packed and there were no visitor moorings left so we moored up before the junction and walked down to the pub.

We had a few drinks with our friend Les who has lived on Country Rose for 18 years and John and Sue who have lived on Nuthtach for a dozen years or so.  Les’s first wife, Liz, was also with us.  It was good to catch up and recount stories about what had happened to us all since we last met in June up near Middlewich.  We all made sure we got back to our boats before the rugby started of course!

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