The wind last night was at its worst at about midnight last night and then slowly died away. There were several boats waiting to go up the flight so we made a late start. Things went well at first with the first two locks draining themselves, but it didnt last and they were soon against us and the last of the boats to enter the flight were in view.
C&RT have re-edged the canal with traditional stone on top of the steel piling in some of the pounds and also lockside.In the distance I could see hi vis vests and lifejackets and thought maybe they were working a boat down, in the end it turned out to be the Wednesday volunteer team working on the locks, the were trying to clear the bywashes of weeds but with the amount of traffic there was a lot of water coming down. One of the other jobs they had been doing was weeding and cutting back the edges of the brickwork.
C&RT have carried out a temporary repair to none of the lock beams, by the look of the flight there may be a few more to do.The water level in the reservoir looked well down to me with the fishing platforms well back from the waters edge, I don’t know what is normal for this time of the year.We met I think 3 boats around the area of the volunteer's so the boat ahead should have had bit of a good run, so when we caught them up again we stopped for lunch in a lock. to let them get ahead, but were soon with them again. At lock 54 we could see a hire boat entering lock 57 so we not only sat and waited for them but Diana walked ahead and opened the top gates the boat ahead had closed, while I walked back and set the lock below. We had heard about this boat, they had gone up the flight this morning by mistake. They were out for 4 nights and should have winded at Stoke Prior but didn’t think there was room, so carried on to the next winding hole, the top of Tardebigge . Not many hires do Tardebigge twice in a day so they deserved all the help they could get.
The old Engine House was looking grand in the afternoon sunshine. This is now a private dwelling but was onetime was a restaurant, long after it was a pump engine house.Not far now to the top lock, this is quite a deep lock with only one top paddle working, when we arrived it was empty, we then saw the notice on the lock requesting its left empty, a bonus for us. The second bonus was when the chap from the boat moored above the lock came along and said he was going down when he had finished his coffee. There is a plaque beside the lock saying the length of the flight and the original boat lift.
We didn’t travel far today only 2.7 miles but that did include 30 locks and it took us 5.5 hours.Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/