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The Waterways Wanderings of Narrowboat “Just Heaven”

Whitchurch

A very easy day today. We set off at our usual 7:00 start and arrived here at 11:30.

A short wait at Grindley Brook staircase for 4 to come down before the lockie let us up.

We needed a pumpout, but the marine was on the wrong side. Luckily there is a winding hole at the top lock. So Heddi expertly winded and reversed to the pumpout machine. We did the PO then back to the  winding hole around again and back on our way.

After mooring up in the Whitchurch Arm we walked into town in search of a new phone. Tesco was useless as all the smart phones were ‘out of stock”.

Luckily we noticed a small phone shop. Dan the proprietor was extremely helpful and supplied me with a Samsung J1 for a very reasonable  £80.  Thanks Dan.

So now I’ll be able to add photos again! !

 

 

Wrenbury

A long cold day today.we left at 7:00 expecting the locks to be in our favour but, we discovered later, another boat had left at 6:15, so we had to turn almost every one. They were a couple of upcoming boats but other than that they were a against us. Breakfast was taken after we had done all 15 locks, then on to Nantwich. Here we tried to find somewhere to buy me a replacement phone, but to no avail.

Turning onto the Llangollen at Hurleston and we were immediately in a queue. The level in the second pound up was so low that the boat in front couldn’t get over the call.  So we had to let more water down.

We eventually made it to Wrenbury cold and tired after 10 hours of travelling.

Still no pics, phone still dead!

 

Adderley bottom lock

Woke up to a totally blue sky – and slightly warmer than yesterday.

It is 15 years since we have been on this part of the Shroppie and I couldn’t remember it at all! A short stop in Market Drayton for some shopping then off again. We stopped earlyish at some very pleasant moorings between Adderley and Audlem locks and had a barbecue.

 

Norbury Wharf

Another early start down the rest of the ’21′. We didn’t see another boat until we were approaching Autherley junction, then we were in a queue. First for the temporary stoppage round some dredging, then for the junction itself.

A stop at Wheaton Aston for fuel (47.9 p/l cheapest on the network?) then on to Norbury. For the last few days the batteries have been giving problems, not holding charge overnight. As they were fairly old (some 4+ years) I had decided to replace all three. An email to Norbury Wharf earlier confirmed they had some at a good price (£69 for 110Ah). So three were purchased and I spent about an hour and a half fitting them.

Sorry no pics. I had taken a photo of the old batteries,  but my phone died  (more on that later!). So I have lost the photos.

 

Lock 6 Wolverhampton flight

A lazy start today. Our niece Emily, her husband Jim and their two boys live in Birmingham and we had arranged for them to come and visit. They arrived about ten, bearing muffins and cakes. So after a tea and cake break we took them for a short trip. First around the Oozells loop then along the main line to the Winson Green junction, around the Soho loop and back to Old Turn junction. Their eldest lad Rory (3) loved it. He even had a go at steering! We said our goodbyes the headed off towards Wolverhampton. On this occasion we chose the New Line as we wanted to get there for tonight’s mooring.

We didn’t pass a single boat all the way, very surprising for a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon. Factory locks were all set against us, but they worked easily and we we soon on the Wolverhampton level of the Old Main line. The section between Coseley tunnel and Deep fields is quite rural. You wouldn’t know that you are in the middle of the West Midlands urban sprawl.
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The intention was to moor at the top lock, but it was very noisy with traffic and trains. So we dropped down two locks and found a better mooring there. After a rest, a glass of wine and a shower we could tell something wasn’t right. We were beginning to list. The level had dropped about 5 inches in an hour. I checked the next lock down. It was leaking badly. By the morning we could be grounded. So we untied and moved down 4 more locks to find somewhere that had plenty of water and enough space.

Cambrian Wharf

The weather forecast for today was for rain most of the day. So when we awoke at 6 o’clock and it was dry a decision was made to go for it. So we set off at 6:30.In fact the weather wasn’t too bad. We had a few periods of drizzly rain but it was mostly dry.

The section on the Grand Union between Knowle and Camp Hill is a summit with the locks both ends going down. So it tends to run out of water making it rather shallow. It also seems to collect various debris both natural and man-made. This meant that we had to be careful not to get anything stuck round the prop.

As we entered Birmingham there were 25 locks to do, six at Camp Hill (down), six at Ashtead (up), and thirteen at Farmer’s Bridge (up). We arrived at Cambrian Wharf at about 1 o’clock.

Some of the locks of the Farmer’s Bridge flight are underneath some of the modern buildings. It used to be dark and dingy but has been opened up a bit since our last visit in 2002.

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Catherine de Barnes

The Hatton flight awaited us so we made our usual early start and entered the bottom lock at 7:24. We exited the top lock 2 hours and 56 minutes later. No bad for two 60+ old codgers! It would have been slightly quicker but we had to wait for boats coming down at two locks.

Other than that we have met very few boats today. A stop to top up with water and have some lunch at the bottom of Knowle locks then on again. Knowle locks were hard work and the strong cross wind made getting into the locks difficult.

Our aim was to get to Catherine de Barnes for the night which we did just after three o’clock. We actually moored just short of C de B, which caused a little confusion. I had contacted old friend Bob saying we were at C de B, but he couldn’t find us in the village so went off searching. Another phone call later and they had found us. After a short natter on board, Bob, Sandra and us all went to the pub for a meal and more nattering.

 

Warwick

ducksAn easy day today. We had planned only to get to the bottom on Hatton locks. As we were ahead of schedule this was only a short day. So some general boat tidying an cleaning to start with the off by 9:30. A short stop at Morrisons for supplies, followed by a full English breakfast and then we carried on to Warwick.

A mooring was found just past Saltisford junction and then we walked into town and mooched around the shops for an hour or so.

The 21 locks of Hatton are to be tackled in the morning.

This evening a pair of Mandarin ducks paid us a visit. We tried to temp them with prawn crackers, but the were n’t interested!

 

Radford Semele

It’s been a really wet today. The forecast wasn’t good so we set off early thinking that we were going to get wet anyway, so we would rather get it over with and be able to dry out later.

There were very few boats about so we did the first 18 locks on our own. We did meet a couple of bots coming up. Then for the last two locks we shared with an hotel boat. Previously we have found hotel boat crews rather uncooperative, but these were friendly and chatty.

After we had moored up the weatheimproved, perhaps we should have waited! A short walk into the village to post a letter then chilling out on the boat.

 

Ventnor farm

We are off on our extended summer cruise heading for Llangollen.

Yesterday I fitted a new solar panel and controller. We did a few other jobs then set out early this morning. The plan was stop just below Marston Doles locks, but the weather was lovely and tomorrow’s forecast is for heavy rain, so we pressed on down the Napton flight and the Calcutt  three.

 

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