Sunday, 12 August 2012


We had a late start going down Tardebigge flight yesterday, as we had to wait to fill up with water as a hire boat just beat us to it.  It turned out they weren't getting water but had moored on the water point for lunch, so we just breasted up with them and carried on.  They were really nice people who'd come up the locks on Friday night and were doing the Stourport Ring in a week, all 74 miles and 105 locks of it.


We finally set off at 12.30 having given up with the water when the tank was only just over half full as it's just so slow.

The first lock is very deep.  At 11ft it's one of the deepest on the system for a single lock and was built to replace an experimental vertical boat lift.

The rest of the locks are more normal depth, well maintained and quite easy to operate.

This was one of the lock cottages.  The owner must be a radio "Ham"

The weather was perfect for locking.  Bright, warm and sunny but with a bit of a breeze to make it bearable. Unfortunately we were following another boat down the flight which meant that most of the locks were empty and had to be filled before we could go in (and doubled the work) but we managed to make steady progress and by the time we'd done 20 we'd been caught up by a boat with 4 crew so one of them helped us by closing one of the gates for us as we left each lock. It took us just under 5.5 hours to do the 29 locks so when we moored at the bottom we headed for the Queens Head pub which is just opposite.  We only had one drink as we weren't overly impressed with it.  It's an extremely modern pub and they didn't have much of a selection of 'proper' beers, mainly lager.  There was also a stag party going on outside on the terrace which was extremely raucous and which continued late into the night. It was nice to see people enjoying themselves but by 11.00pm we wished they'd turn it down a bit............must be getting old!

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