Sunday, 14 August 2011

Kidderminster Mural & Whittington

Last night we moored on the designated overnight moorings, beside the service block. This morning was very busy with lots of boats passing through the basin and stopping for water and rubbish disposal. The boat behind us had only just gone and as I washing washing up I hadn’t had time to move our boat back to make more room for the service block when a Napton Narrowboats hire boat came in for water. There was already one boat moored on the water point but you should have heard the complaints from the “lady” on the hire boat. How dare I moor my boat next to a service block! How dare I take up her space for water! It didn’t even pacify her when her husband pointed out the sign saying that we were moored on overnight moorings, not actually on the water point. If only she’d actually made these complaints directly to me instead of standing there huffing and puffing I might have let rip as I was just in the mood for a barney. As it was, I kept my mouth shut and waited till the first boat had gone and her boat was ensconced on the water point and then moved us back into the corner mooring. She stood there arms crossed like Nora Batty and scowled at me the whole time.

Because it was so busy this morning we decided to have lunch and wait for a lull in the traffic before setting off. After the huge river locks the canal locks seem very narrow.

At Kidderminster you approach the lock through St. Mary’s Bridge which is really a tunnel under the main road. Last year the artist Peter Barber painted a mural in the tunnel depicting a boy’s face through the ages from 1920’s up to the 2010’s. Even after a year it is still immaculate and the local graffiti artists haven’t added anything to it. Maybe if more bridges and tunnels were painted like this we’d see less awful graffiti.

When you come out of the tunnel and up the lock you are greeted with this beautiful view of St. Mary’s Church.

While we were coming up the lock 2 young lads stood and chatted to me. To look at them you’d thing they were a couple of young thugs but they were both very polite and asked some sensible questions and were a pleasure to talk to.

Later on we passed several moored boats and it was nice to see this polite sign.

At Debdale Lock there's a doorway cut into the sandstone wall. I didn’t go inside as it’s very dark but a quick glance shows that it’s quite big inside. Apparently it used to be used as overnight stabling for the boat horses.

 Cookley Tunnel is cut through the rocks but is probably shorter than the underpass tunnel at Kidderminster.

We’re now moored just below Whittington Lock and will carry on in the morning. It’s quite a cool evening but I wouldn’t have said it was cold enough for a fire as the boat behind us has smoking away.

We’re getting low on diesel and are heading for Wheaton Aston to fill up.

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