Saturday 8 January 2022

Home Moorings

Well the temperature may have been much better this morning, but the rest wasn’t and needless to say we set off in the rain but it did stop now and again. We met Rick on the fuel boat Aurora just before the two Glascote Locks so both the locks were with us. We then chugged on without meeting a boat all the way back to the moorings, Just before the moorings I spotted a Kingfisher sat onto of a post, I reversed back and as I got in position to get a clear shot it flew off.
Why does the wind always pick up as soon as you turn into the marina, we winded and backed down to our spot to find another boat moored there so we slipped into the slot beside it, where I suspect it should be.

map 19
Todays Journey 3¾ miles, 2 locks in 1¾ hours.


To see the maps of the entire trip please go to
 Map 1 and Map 2

Friday 7 January 2022

Fazeley Junction

Well the temperature stayed above freezing last night but we did see some frost on the reeds by the edge of the canal during the day.
The Waterworks are quite some magnificent buildings just across the lane from the canal.DSCF6182 Last night we were quite safe as this tree was looking over us.DSCF6181 Thanks tree. We only met a couple of boats on the move and very few moored in places like Hopwas and Fazeley. What we did see was lots of dog walking, big and small. It felt really cold cruising along and I was quite please when Diana popped up and said go down and get warm.
At the beginning of the trip I posted about miniature displays on the tops of boat, this one is on the roof of the Little Chimney Companies boat.DSCF6183

We filed with water at Fazeley junction and then went through bridge 77 to moor for the night opposite the saw mill, but when we came to moor we found a steel ledge about  8” below the surface so we couldn’t deploy our fenders. In the light of this we backed up through the bridge and moored the other side of the water point.

map 18

Todays Journey 10 miles, no locks in 4½ hours.

Thursday 6 January 2022

Brookhay Waterworks

Looking out this morning the grass was a bit white and frosty  in places, but it was quite bright, HS2 have set load of trees opposite where we were moored so I am not sure what they are planning for the site.DSCF6172 We timed our departure well for a change, Diana was on the boat hovering while I was setting the lock when a boat came up behind us. Just round the corner HS2 have now cut a swath through the offside trees where the crossing will be. Looking at the plans I think this is just a spur. DSCF6174We could see people moving down at Shadehouse Lock and sure enough there was a small cruiser coming up, they had just closed the bottom gates when we arrived but only used one top paddle to fill the lock, but it did mean that Middle lock would be full. At Fradley junction we carried straight on down through Junction Lock. It was while I was working the lock I was approached by a CRT “Chugger” after money. Trying to engage me in conversation while I am working a lock is not the best time, that’s how accidents happen, I also pointed out I give them enough already so he wondered on his way. There looked to be a second one seated in the car park for the cafĂ©. At Keepers lock there was a boat on the lock landing below the lock, both the bottom gates were closed and paddles down but the lock was empty so I proceeded to lock the single hander up before we could continue. I don’t know how long he had been there but Hunts Lock was down by about 2 foot. I think it was about here that it started to sleet. Nothing for it now but to continue down through Common Lock where I noticed that there was actually ice on the canal in amongst the reeds.DSCF6175 The sleet got heavier and wetter as I pushed on through Bagnall Lock, departing the lock I left the bottom gates open as we only went about 50 yards to the winding hole before retracing our steps. There seem a lot more new properties here than I remember from our last visit. 
I was interested to see how the new marina by Common Lock was coming along, there are probably a dozen boats in there now with a good entrance from below the lock, of course they have the noDSCF6177 turning notice up but there would be tons of room to wind without going into the actual entrance, just using the splay.DSCF6176 Common Lock had leaked a bit since we came down, probably 6” to a foot. I must admit by now the weather was unpleasant and with wet cold hands I couldn’t get any gloves on. Back up to Hunts Lock, still almost empty and Keepers right empty, whereas Junction Lock was full. Leaving Junction lock it was hard left back onto the Coventry Canal. The swing Bridge was open but we closed it on leaving. They are doing a lot of building on the offside after the mooring and bridge and have dug some very large ponds to take storm water. DSCF6178Passing under the A5 road bridge for many years there has been a Dutch Barge style narrowboat moored on the offside, it looks as if its had a good scrub and cardboard put behind the broken window, but then obviously failed to raise the sunken ex BWB work boat moored behind it, it was well on its way to coming up last time we passed with a couple of chaps working on it. You can still see the pumps on site, so I guess they plan to try again.DSCF6180

Our planned stop for the night was the Brookhay waterworks, as we approached hoping it was vacant we spotted a goods train going by behind it, The train line gets very close to the canal after Brookhay Wharf, but I understand its just a non electric goods line and I have no idea were it goes. We were in luck the mooring by the waterworks was empty so we pulled in here for the night. Officially its for CRT workboats but the signs have long gone and its unlike one is going to turn up to load tonight.

map 17Todays journey 6¾ miles 13 lock in 4½ hours

Wednesday 5 January 2022

Woodend Lock

Yesterday afternoon after we moored up Diana took a walk back to the horse bridge crossing the Trent to Shugborough Hall as last time we were here someone had tried to drive a stolen car across it and cause major damage to the walls. She came back to say this has now been repaired.
As we were getting up this morning it was raining, the temperature didn’t drop below freezing all night but got close. By the time we had finished breakfast it was bright sun as can be seen from the front of Shugborough Hall and it stayed sunny all morning and dry all day.DSCF6157

A boat came by just before we left but he must have moored above Colwich Lock as that was empty when we arrived. The lock is certainly living up to its nickname at the moment, Cow **** lock and one had to watch where you put your feet as you DSCF6158returned to the boat below the lock.
One of the houses in Colwich is having some major landscaping work carried out at the moment, it will be interesting to see how it develops.DSCF6160 One of the houses just before Wolseley Bridge had Snowdrops in bloom, these are the second lot we have seen this trip. We met our first boat on the move just before Rugeley, we had overtake a hire boat about to leave at Wolseley Bridge. Coming into Rugeley Naomis Landing has a good Christmas display, you can find it on Facebook at (6) Naomi's Landing | Facebook.DSCF6164

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It wasn’t long before we were through Rugeley, I expected to see a lot moor boats moored there for the winter months. As expected we didn’t meet anyone at Armitage tunnel or on the blind bend by the church, we did however meet a boat by the toilet pan factory. Passing Kings Bromley marina this Buzzard was sat in a very small tree and just looked at me, such a shame the light wasn’t better.DSCF6167 (2) Its been a good trip for wildlife with the fox as well as lots of birds. I have witnessed more Kingfishers actually catching fish this trip than all my years on the cut. It wasn’t far from here to out mooring for the night just above Woodend Lock.

map 16Todays journey 11 miles, 1 lock in 4 hours

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Great Haywood

We had plenty of rain overnight but we woke to a bright cool morning, about 10°C cooler than yesterday. I was pretty sure that I heard a boat go by while it was still dark and sure enough the Star lock was empty. We did meet a few boats during the day and the rest of the locks were part filled. Lots of the bridges on this canal have been renumbered, in most cases when the old number is still there the new number has been mounted on top of it, in this case the number was mounted below an the old number 90 is clearly visible.DSCF6150At Sandon lock the lock side cottage as two old elm paddles, one each side of their doorway, I would have expected them to have come from the same lock, but the iron work is different.

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This time I did manage to get a photograph of Salt Bridge, I just love the brickwork. it was here we met the second boat of the day and a short time later the third one.DSCF6154 We stopped at Great Haywood to fill with water right opposite where the Audi bogged down a few days ago. It seems its an adventure camp site run by C2C Outdoors.DSCF6156 Once the tank was full we set off once more to drop down through Haywood lock before mooring for the night.

map 15

Todays Journey 10½ miles, 6 locks in 5 hours.

Monday 3 January 2022


We set off north this mooring to a sunny day, as expected the locks were against us.DSCF6141At Meaford top lock it was good to see the road bridge in one piece, I think this is only the third time we have passed when it hasn’t been damaged. DSCF6142The red barriers are blocking off the towpath access steps as the hand rails require replacing . We did have a couple of spots of rain and I was surprised to see this rainbow, there must have been more rain there than we were having.


We went as far as the winding hole between Barlaston and Wedgwood where we winded to return back to Stone, needles to say in the last 500 yards we were to meet two boat which we would follow all the way back to Stone waiting at each lock. In Barlaston this ginger cat came round the corner and face to face with the black and white one who was obviously the boss cat, so the ginger one gave him a wide and careful berth.DSCF6146

Many years ago Meaford locks were realigned and the bottom three locks are new. The old line of the locks came in here just below the top lock. The first time I came up here with Harnser I tried winding here and the off side is well silted, I think it took four of us to pull the stern round and the silt was scraped up above the water surface as we pulled her round. Since then there has been a winding hole constructed below the flight.DSCF6147

I don’t think there are many Narrowboats around with its own plunge pool on the cruiser stern, I guess it would be a bit chilly this time of the year.DSCF6148

We carried on down into Stone and were very pleased to see a vacant mooring between Star and Yard lock. Once moored up I fitted a new seal to the weed hatch and we then went to have a closer look at the Joules Crown Wharf Tap House and its a lot bigger than it first appears from the canal.

map 14

Today’s Journey 6½ miles 11 Locks in 4½ hours

Sunday 2 January 2022


We set of in bright sun and no wind, I thought I would get a nice reflection of this bridge with no ripples but two canoes came through before I had a good view of it.DSCF6128 Next on the list for photographs was this fox, it was beside the canal but went down the hedgerow before going out across the open field with a couple of crows mobbing it.DSCF6132 As we passed Aston Marina there was a boat coming towards us, so that was the first lock ready and as we got close a second boater coming down opened the bottom gates ready for us.
We moored just below the winding hole at Stone to visit Morrisons to top up with fresh veg. The short life reduced section was piled high, but far too many people milling around for us to poke out noses in, talking of noses, some people still don’t get the idea that a mask has to cover both mouth and nose to have a chance of containing anything. Just as we returned to the boat the boat ahead set off up Star Lock so they would all be against us. In these locks I hang back near the bottom gates then Diana can fully open the gate paddle. DSCF6137After Yard lock it started raining, not much, but raining. The Joules Brewery Tap House at Crown Wharf is now complete and open for business. DSCF6139As we proceeded the rain got heavier and we decided to call it a day just below Meaford Locks.

map 13

Today’s Journey 4¼ miles 5 locks in 2½ hours

Saturday 1 January 2022


Well I can’t say much has changed since last year, the weather is still very unseasonably warm and even sunny. There weren’t as many boats moored on Tixall wide as I expected and at Gt Haywood Junction we turned left and stopped to dill with water. Across the canal from the waterpoint there were people camping, most left their vehicles on the hard standing but one had taken his Audi right across to  marshy bit and pitched tent there, he was digging his front wheels out when we passed.
The farm shop just through the bridge was closed, I suspect they missed out on a lot of trade with all the walkers who were hoping for a coffee. They ether had a bumper year growing pumpkins or a poor year selling them as the field is still full of them. DSCF6119A bit further on and the field was full of Canada geese, I bet they eat almost much as sheep do,DSCF6123 talking of sheep I saw one with a jacket on today, that’s a first for me. DSCF6125I think we have seen more boat on the move today than we have in the past 10 day, three came by before we were up. I didn’t photograph one of my favoured looking bridges, Salt Bridge as the light was all wrong, maybe on the way back, but I did notice someone has run along one of the offside fenders that were installed to save the bridge. I thought this bush was looking rather splendid with all its bright red bark.DSCF6126

After 4 hours we decided that the moorings at Burston were far enough away from the railway for tonight. Four hours is about the minimum I can get away with to recharge the batteries and for some reason they were lower than normal this morning. Again we shut the stove down last night as it was so warm, this meant the electric kettle was out to make the first cup of tea.

map 12

Today’s Journey 8¼ miles, 4 lock in 4 hours