Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Serious yellow pencil *

------- cos we have now done the Droitwich canals!   Yip Hee!!   How exciting is that?  For loads of info on this restored canal, you could click here Droitwich Canals but in a nutshell:    there are two canals - (1) Droitwich Canal from Hanbury Wharf on the Worcs and Birmingham Canal to Droitwich, and (2) from Droitwich to the River Servern which is called the Droitwich Barge Canal - in practise it is just the one stretch of canal.    The entire length was formally re-opened on July 1 2011,  72 years after these were officially abandoned.   It is about 7.5 miles long with 18 locks (I think - you do tend to lose count after so many in the same day and can’t check in my Nicolson’s as the 2006 version obviously still has this waterway as non-navigable).    The locks are narrow up to Droitwich town centre and then double down to the Severn.    There are 3 swing bridges in the town (plus one permanently open and one over the lock!).     Droitwich is quite an interesting town - either modern monstrosities or Tudor buildings, quite a mix.    Huge new Waitrose right by the canal - well, the whole town centre is right by the canal so you can’t miss it.

The canal is certainly very lovely through glorious countryside but unfortunately there is loads of reed growth on both sides so you can only moor in the basin at Droitwich itself which has been done out with short finger jetties in a semi circle - didn’t count how many but certainly only about half full the night we stayed there.   Very shallow in places which is a bit of a challenge when you have to pass a boat coming in the opposite direction !   There is a water point in the basin and rubbish bins but no Elsan so make sure you take advantage of services at either Worcester or by the Black Prince boatyard at Stoke Wharf depending on which direction you are coming from (or you could, like me, make your man use natural “waste” disposal for personal needs and don’t let him have a drink before noon and after 6 pm)

Ooohh - and the bridge under the M5 motorway is fun!!     VERY low.    You go through a swinging gauge before you meet the bridge hole and we made it tremble a tad!    We had took the chimney off before and levelled out the logs and stuff but my pansies (and Dai) were almost decapitated!  

We done at least 60 million locks since last posting - and of course, all of them to do again now as we are in Worcester going back up into Birmingham - Tardebigge where we come ----- again!!


Since last blog we have done … 17 miles and 58 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1798 miles and  1449 locks  

Tardebigge Flight
 - on and on and on and on ......
but you do get to the bottom eventually !
start of Droitwich Canal off the Worcs and Birm canal
leading to Droitwich Barge Canal
brand new marina just after first three locks
on Droitwich Canal and hardly any boats in there
in second lock of 2-lock staircase on Droitwich Canal
swinging height gauge just before entering M5 motorway bridge
oopphhs - watch your heads!!
At this part of the canal, it is also river fed and if we had
had any more rain these last couple of days, then
we would have been wedged good and proper
in the M5 bridge - remote control on the tiller
long job
now, that's what I call "opposition" coming
straight at you on the River !!
nice pink Tudor building in Droitwich

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