Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Tuesday 18th October
It wasn’t too bad a night in the end but Richard has restless legs which kept him awake for an hour or so and we didn’t wake up until 9am! Today we left the Shropshire Union which in some ways I’m sad about and in others I’m pleased about. Obviously I’m glad to have left all the cuttings behind and the Shroppie ledge which did cause us problems with mooring but it is a lovely canal, well maintained and every official mooring place has rings to moor up with. The Shropshire Union Canal Society should be applauded for all their hard work – I don’t think there is another canal with as many picnic areas with tables and barbecue stands and masses of benches for weary walkers to rest on. The last lock on the Shroppie is only a 6” drop – hardly seems worth the effort! So back onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the Pendeford Rockin’ which you may remember from a month ago. I was down below when Richard called me up saying that he might have a problem – I assumed he meant another boat was coming along the narrows but it was a swan family which he was worried about squashing! At Coven Heath we passed from West Midlands to Staffordshire – you wouldn’t have noticed but I bet the residents of Coven Heath are pleased that they don’t live in the drab sounding county of West Midlands. I spent most of the morning down below working on a Tesco delivery shopping list for when we get home – we also have visitors coming so I’ve planned meals for the whole week and ordered the food :-) We passed Hatherton Junction where the Hatherton Branch used to come in. The canal was opened in 1841 to bring coal from Cannock - the last load came down in 1949. We pulled over at Gailey for the night and walked down to the lovely Roundhouse Canal Shop. I asked the lady if she would have any milk in the morning and she said yes and would we like a daily paper too – I felt as if we were in a hotel!!