We were away just before 9 am this morning after a rather warm night. Nice Takeaway from Peninsular Cantonese and far more than we wanted to eat so seconds tonight. Since the pandemic you can no longer dine in, just Takeaway or delivery.
Just before we set off the Cheese boat came by but we only followed them a short way to Tamworth Retail Park moorings. The canal was quite busy although the moorings outside The Tame Otter at Hopwas were empty, it’s probably where all the boats we met came from. Just passing the moored boats dead slow at Hopwas wood and a boat pulled out just as I was passing the boat moored behind him, he had been watching me coming since I cleared the bridge. He then chugged along while his wife walked the dog and did an emergency stop in the bridge to pick her up. His speed on the open canal was less than I like doing but he slowed very little passing moored boats so pull away from me. He finally pulled over and moored so we slid by with a “how Do”.
After Streethay but before the waterworks at Brookhay CRT/ Rothen Group are replacing the wooden piling with more wooden piling. There is a single line railway running almost parallel to the canal here, I always thought it was just a freight line but today there was a twin unit passenger train, the same as used on the main West Coast Line.
Just before Bridge 89, Bell bridge for some time there has been a sunken ex BWB work boat on the off side, just behind the narrow beam Dutch Barge which has been there as long as I can remember, well the sunken boat has gone and the Narrowboat has had the wheelhouse removed.
We carried on to Fradley Junction which was quite quiet, even the swing was open and I went straight out onto the Trent and Mersey canal turning left up to the lock. no Volockies around in this heat but Diana soon turned the lock, she walked up to Shadehouse lock and waved for me to leave the top gates open when I left. I expected to meet a boat but they were above the lock and the lock was empty. then it was off up to Woodend Lock, the cottage now behind the HS2 security fencing and deserted, as are the moorings. I tried to get onto one of the offside moorings above the lock for the shade, but they are far too silted up, so we moored towpath side in the best of the shade we could get.
12 miles, 3 locks in 5 hours