At 8 30 this morning an ex working pair came past to go down the locks, they would be well clear before we set off but it did mean all the locks would be against us. Had we been first all locks would be in our favour.
We set off at 9-30 ish passing the mouth of Broad Street Basin where we filled with water yesterday.
On the park someone is living in a tent between the statues/art work. I am not sure what they are meant to be.
The old lock cottages above lock one are fully scaffolded out right up to the chimney pots. It funny but we have done this flight several times but I have never noticed this gate post against the bridge below lock 1 before, you can see the hinge near the bottom, you can also see the orange spot which was on lots of the bridges again.
Most of the locks worked well, I think there were a couple of paddles out of action and all the anti vandal locks worked. We met a lengths man coming up the flight , he was relocking the gates after the ex working pair had gone down, it was easy to see where he had met them as all the locks were off after that.
Diana walked ahead setting the locks and I worked the boat down closing up behind me and putting all the locks back on, I worked out that just doing that I walked 1¼ miles, 100+ yards at each of the 21 locks. With all the locks against us the flight took us 2 hours 50 minutes. Down at Aldersley Junction we turned right onto the
Staffordshire and Worcestershire for about half a mile until we came to Autherley Junction where we turned left onto the Shropshire Union canal, there is a stop lock at the junction to prevent water loss from one companies canal to the other and it has a fall of about 6". The photo was taken with the lock lowered.
Napton Narrowboats have a base at the junction and there was not one of their boats to be seen at the base, so whether they are all out or been moved to Napton I don't know.
We came all the way down the Wolverhampton 21 without meeting a boat and then within an hour we meet 10 and continued to meet them all day. Also at Autherley we passed a Red Eared Terrapin sitting on a branch out of the water, the live quite happily in our climate but I don't know if they bread, I hope not as they are another predator that doesn't belong here.
CRT now seam to be using yellow plastic mesh in place of orange or blue which they always used in the past, maybe they think it blends in better.
The aqueduct at Stretton is getting in need of some loving care, a bit of gardening and a coat of paint wouldn't go a miss, but I expect the paint would be outside the scope of volunteers being over a major road but a bit of vegetation control on both sides wouldn't.
There is a boat yard just over the aqueduct, I can never remember its name but they have proper boats there. Today there were two I especially liked, an old wooden canal cruiser, it may have been an inspection launch in its day and this little tug.
The wooden cruiser is just in front of the shed door.
We carried on through one more lock to stop for the night at Wheaton Aston, we are moored opposite the winding hole but its marked as a 48 hour mooring, the chap in front has just started his engine so if he leaves we will pull forward a bit.