Leaving The Shroppie, Joining The Staffs & Worcs Canal

It took us a while to get going this morning as we used the services at the bottom of Wheaton Aston Lock, and by the time we’d finished we were third in the queue to ascend. While John ‘walked’ Cyan to her place in the queue, I ambled up to the lock with a windlass, hoping to help quicken the ‘process’. There were just as many queuing to come down as to go up, including hire boats who’ve just started their holidays. Still, despite the cold gloomy weather, most boaters were jolly.

Cruising the Stretton Aqueduct; over the A5 ‘Watling Street’, we waved. A lorry replied by flashing his lights, and we just happened to catch it on camera

Onwards we cruised, through ‘Skew Bridge (#15)

Doesn’t take much imagination to wonder why it’s called ‘Skew Bridge’!

Passing through the beautiful ‘Avenue Bridge’ (#10), built C1830 by Thomas Telford. “Rough faced ashlar; single stilted round arch flanked by pilasters; sweeping balustraded parapet on rounded corbels. Ashlar is finely dressed (cut, worked) masonry.” It’s an amazing bridge, no doubt a vanity project to please the Giffard Family see more. A case of ‘sublime to the ridiculous’ taking ‘Skew Bridge’ into account.

Here’s an interesting fun boat! I imagine the person who built it had some fun too.

Eventually we popped out of Autherley Junction.

Leaving the Shroppie

And straight onto the narrows…  but not before a boat had just left the narrows. A few anxious minutes passed where we’d hope we wouldn’t meet another boat. Luckily we didn’t, but we did meet one as we exited the narrows. It must be our lucky day!

The weather has been threatening to drown us during the morning, though we moored up in lovely sunshine. The wind was biting, it’s the first real taste of Autumn. While cruising we had the central heating going, with promises of hot buttered crumpets when we stopped.

We’re moored just past Coven Heath Bridge (#69), and pretty tightly too due to the wind. While I battened down the hatches, John took Rusty for a run, coming back with a big bag of damsons; soon to be ‘recycled’ into wild damson jam. To top off the ‘Autumnal Theme’, we’ve lit the wood burner!

Today we’ve cruised 10.5 miles, through 1.5 locks (you couldn’t really say the Autherley stop lock a ‘real’ lock), we’ve 15 Mg of WiFi, and digital TV is good.

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