We picked just the wrong time to leave, the Wolverhampton flight of 21 locks start just 5 minutes from where we moored and as we arrived at the top lock a hire boat was just going out the bottom so we followed them all the way. We did meet some boats coming up, but it didn’t help much as we ended up waiting for them to come into the lock ahead each time, so it took us about 2¾ hours to do the flight. Last time I was this way I asked for information on this strange piece of brickwork at lock 17 and was told it was the remains of an old accommodation bridge, now replaced with the metal footbridge. Lock number one, the bottom lock has the paddles turned through 90° for some reason. Every paddle on this flight is fitted with an anti vandal lock to prevent unauthorised opening of the paddles and draining/flooding the flight, it has happened in the past. Every single one of the 84 locks worked well, a most unusual result.
At the bottom of the flight is Aldersley Junction, the junction with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. here we turned sharp right for about ½ mile before turning sharp left at Autherley Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal. Just through the junction is a stop lock that drops the canal level by about 4” , again like most other stop locks this is to prevent water loss from one company to their neighbour. Diana nipped into the local boat hire base shop and bought a new Anti vandal key as hers is getting worn.
A short way along the canal we passed under the new number 4 bridge, the remains of the old on are about 100 feet away and of course they are not in line. I bet that can be fun for a full length boat.
We carried on for about another mile before mooring for the night at the 48 hr moorings at Brewood Park farm. The reason for using the visitor moorings is that on this canal the edges sloop, in lots of place you are aground and still 18” from the bank, here there are mooring rings and a reasonable depth of water right to the edge.