Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Monday, 22 October 2012
Wednesday 3rd October Having stayed the night at Norbury Wharf we went again in the morning to the shop and bought a newspaper, spaghetti and milk. Then we set off in sunny weather at about 10am. There was some lovely scenery but a lot of wooded areas, which can be a bit boring, as you can't really see the landscape. We cruised above the A5 on the aqueduct looking imperiously over the bridge to the busy road below. As we approached Brewood there was some nice scenery and we decided to stop on the visitor moorings at Brewood and then walk into the village. It's a picture perfect village, very quiet and friendly. I watched as a butcher in pristine aprons helped a disabled man out of his shop and into his motorised wheelchair. The village has a useful butchers, bakery, greengrocers and 3 pubs. We went into the Bridge Inn next to the canal, which was very friendly and we chatted with a local old man.
Tuesday 2nd October We left early this morning at 7.30am to quickly navigate through the 5 locks at Tyrley Wharf then travelled on through some beautiful scenery with Welsh mountains as a distant backdrop. Then we passed through the very deep rock cutting near Woodseaves, which carries on for about a mile and was cut entirely by hand with no machinery. It had just started raining when we arrived at Norbury Junction which has a fantastic wharf with a chandlery which stocks everything you could ever want for a boat. I forgot to say that while we were in Market Drayton our inverter blew up, which is the 'thing' that provides electricity, so we had been relying on our generator. We had been told that we could get a new one from Stourport on Severn and it would cost about £330. Luckily we noticed that they sold them in Norbury Wharf for £299 so we bought one! (and when we got to Stourport the shop was closed so we couldn't have got one from there anyway)! We also got coal diesel and gas there and 2 slices of home made lemon cake in the tea rooms.
13th September - 2nd October 2012 We approached the town of Market Drayton with high hopes, but unfortunately as well as taking in the beautiful old buildings in the high street we noticed the many empty and boarded up shops, rubbish in the streets and run down pubs, none of which looked inviting enough to enter. We did venture into one pub, The Talbot, near the canal, but we were the only ones in there on a Sunday lunchtime and so we didn't stay long. The town seemed forlorn, empty and neglected. So our hopes were dashed - we had been looking forward to Market Drayton so much having heard good things about it but talking to locals revealed that they blame the council for high tax on the shops, and also for allowing several new supermarkets on the outskirts of town which have taken business from the local shops. We had to stay there for my work and therefore we spent 2 weeks moored up and hardly ventured into the town except to get food. So really there's not much to report - we talked to a few regular dog-walkers along the towpath and made friends with another couple of CCers who kept an eye on our boat when we went back to Teddington for a big party – we stayed with our friends Gary and Sandra for the weekend and it was very nice. Going to and coming back from London we travelled on Virgin Trains and I discovered they make me feel very sick - I actually was sick on the way back (nothing to do with a weekend of drinking and merriment!)