As we only needed to get to Stourport today we had a leisurely start and set off just after nine. The weather had changed overnight and it was much cooler than the previous days. A quiet, uneventful run up to the Hampstall Inn at Astley Burf. The pub has recently put in excellent new moorings. The moorings are for pub patrons only, so I went up and bought a pint of cider. We had actually stopped for a late morning “full English” which didnt really go with cider, so I poured it into a bottle and saved it for later. The pub was just starting serving the carvery Sunday Lunch, which looked excellent value for money.
By one thirty we had arrivedin Stourport and made our way up the two narrow staircases from the river. There was one other boat ( a Brookline hire boat) ahead of us, but other than that it was very quiet.
As we came through the basins I heard someone call out “Hello Mr Heaven”. I turned around to see NB Ruffian which is owned by another Mr Heaven, an accountant from Birmingham, possibly a relation but quite distant. As we were waiting for York St lock they pulled up behind us and we had a short chat. He said that they were just out for a short cruise to Pratt’s Wharf. We had also condsidered stopping at Pratt’s Wharf, but when we got there there was only one space so we thought we would let Ruffian have it. (Also the nearby sewage works was having a ‘smelly’ day)
We went on a little further and finally moored up just above Falling Sands lock. We were just in time, as I was securing the ropes it started to rain which was the begining of a terrific thunderstorm. About an hour or so later, after the storm had passed, we decided to go on a walk. We went up to bridge 11, crossed over and up the lane leading down to it. Then along the road looking for the lane that leads down to Oldington bridge. We knew that it was down through a industrial estate, but this road has several and we tried all of them until we found the right one. When we walked back alon the towpath past Pratt’s Wharf Ruffian wasnt there so perhaps the thunderstorm persuaded them to moor up earlier.