Monday, 1 October 2012

Wolverhampton to Brewood

After lunch yesterday we moved the boat to Wolverhampton ready to go down the 21 locks today.  I'd volunteered to drive while Roger stayed inside and played his electric guitar, but I'd forgotten that we needed to go through Coseley Tunnel and, if you remember from previous blog posts, I have a bit of a phobia about tunnels. Just before the tunnel, Roger came out and said he'd take over while I went inside but I decided this was going to be the time for me to conquer tunnels! So with quite a lot of trepidation I carried on. Luckily there was nothing coming the other way and I wasn't exactly comfortable to say the least, but I DID IT!!!!  I didn't crash from side to side and the roof didn't fall in on top of me....and by the time I got to the other end I was grinning like a Cheshire Cat.  I doubt I'll be volunteering to drive through Harecastle just yet, but I'm going to try and stay outside for the trip through it next week, instead of cowering inside or doing the hoovering. I'll let you know how I get on.

This morning the canal was very busy and 8 boats went down the locks before we were ready to set off.  We gave the last boat half an hour to put some space between us and then just as we were going into the top lock another 2 boats arrived behind us.  Apart from passing 3 boats coming up all the locks were against us, but with help from a lovely man on one of the boats behind us who was whizzing up and down the flight on his bike, setting paddles and closing gates, we managed to get to the bottom in 3 hours 20 mins.

I must say that the Wolverhampton 21 locks are extremely well maintained. Every paddle is well greased and there's no litter and hardly any rubbish in the canal.  At Lock 17 we met 2 lengthsmen who were carrying out some routine maintenance and who dragged a huge tyre out of the by-wash.  If only every lock flight was as well maintained life for us boaters would be a lot easier.

We pulled in for a late lunch just before Autherley Junction and then carried on through the stop lock and onto the Shropshire Union Canal to moor for the night in Brewood.

typical tall narrow bridge on the Shroppie

Brewood visitor moorings

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