No, we didn’t go up the Wolverhampton Flight - we are still on the Staffs & Worcester Canal making our way to Stourport. We are now moored at Swinton having passed through Compton, Wightwick and Wombourne. Last Monday was like the “olden days”! We only did about 2.5 miles but went through 8 locks!! Including the 3 at The Bratch and the 2-lock staircase at Botterham.
Stopped for a supplies replenish at the Sainsburys in Wombourne which is right by the canal so very handy. There was a lock-keeper at The Bratch to help boaters as it could be quite daunting for first timers as you have to be careful about opening paddles although there is plenty of info how to work them with blue and red paintings on each set as there are side pounds in use here. According to Nicholsons ---- with their octagonal toll office, attractive situation and unusual layout, these three locks are well known among students of canal engineering and architecture. At first sight they appear curiously illogical, with an impossibly short pound between the bottom of one lock and the top gate of the next; but the secret of their operation is the side ponds hidden behind the towpath hedge, and the culverts that connect these to the intermediate pounds.”
Hurray - first ducklings sighted --- we must be the last boaters to find them as they were a good 3 weeks later than our first 2 years on Jandai !
It’s quite a nice mooring here - 3 pubs, little supermarket, bakery and a chippie. We’ve been spoilt for this delicacy lately as we had a fish ‘n’ chip supper when moored at Compton last Thursday night. Good width of towpath with a proper path although not had much opportunity to take advantage as, like everywhere else, we have had lots of April showers and a huge amount of the wet stuff today.
Since last blog we have done … 10 miles and 15 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1722 miles and 1339 locks
|unusual bridge at Awbridge Lock|
|Warning notice near The Bratch top lock moorings|
|The Bratch Top Lock ----|
look at the sky!! Moments before a hail storm!
|What a wonderful step structure at The Bratch Locks|
|Side pounds at The Bratch|
|The octagonal toll office at The Bratch Locks|