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The Waterways Wanderings of Narrowboat “Just Heaven”

Stourport basin

The weather looked good when we awoke, so we decided to have a cup of tea and set off in case it turned worse later on. A good trip down to Kidderminster, with a cold wind blowing but the sun shining. At Sainsbury’s we stopped to do the food shopping for the week. Then had a cooked breakfast before setting off again. On passing our old mooring at Roundhill Wharf we noticed that NB Tetty had gone, so we assume that Mike & Yvette have sold her.
We arrived in Stourport basin at about 3 o’clock and stopped at the services to take on water. Whilst it was filling I popped down to the river to see if there was room on the pontoon moorings. There was only one space. The only space in the basin wasnt ideal, but we thought that if we set off down the staircase locks a boat might come up river and take the only available space. So we pulled forward off of the water point to the space by the services block.
The guy on the trad boat Gort in front of us then asked if he could breast up to us to take on water. It turned out that he wasnt staying overnight so we agreed to swap places. I did this by going out into the basin doing a 180 degree pirouette and reversing back into his space. What I didn’t know was that all this maneuvering was being watched from York St bridge by Andrew, Sheila & Dylan the dog . They popped down for a chat and invited us to their flat for a cuppa later.
After several hours of tea, chat and excellent cake we returned to the boat, cooked and ate our supper and retired to bed.

Kinver

Our summer trip was cut short as we had to get back here to get the clutch fixed on the car. We had to miss out the Droitwich canals. Maybe that was a good move as it seems that in late July almost every boat in the midlands was heading for the new opened Droitwich canals.
In the coming week we plan to put right the earlier omission and “do” the Droitwich. We arrived later than expected as the M5 was stop-start-crawl almost all the way from Tewkesbury to Worcester. So we unloaded, lit the fire, had a meal and went to bed.

Kinver

A really lovely day weather wise, much better than we had expected. It was clear blue skies and bright sunshine almost all day. We set off around 9:00 and went straight down Bratch. I had a long chat with one of the lockies who was furious about the situation with the BW directors awarding themselves bonuses, whilst asking some of the staff to put in more hours on a voluntary basis.
It was obviously fishing match day. It seemed like half the men in the West Midlands were out competing. The towpath was lined with fishermen evenly spaced for mile after mile!
After a breakfast stop in Swindon we arrived back at Kinver just after 3 o’clock. Teresa & Lins had to be back home for a family do, so we packed up and left about 4:00.

Below Awbridge lock

It rained heavily in the night, but the sky was fairly clear by daybreak. We had a lazy start with tea in bed at 7:30. I got up at 8:00 to do a few chores around the boat whilst the others got dressed, showered etc. We left the mooring at around 9:00. As we hadn’t topped up the water since early August we stopped at Stewponey and filled the tank. It was just gone 10:00 when we finally started the journey. The weather was much more pleasant that we had expected. Quite a few boats about but no queues. At about 11:30 we stopped for a cooked breakfast just above Rocky lock.
Unfortunately while we were having breakfast a rather slow boat passed which we then followed until they winded just below Bratch. We went up to wind just below Dimmingsdale lock and then came back to below Awbridge lock for the night. The fire was lit so it was lovely and cosy for an evening of food, wine and Rumikub.

Home mooring

Picked up Teresa and Lins then, after a slow journey up the M5, arrived about 6 o’clock. We unloaded most of the stuff (it’s quicker with four) then settled down for the evening. I had been delegated to provide the evening meal and thought that I had it all in hand. Everything was OK until I came to look for some pasta. I was sure that we had left some on board, but searched in vain. So I quickly got in the car and drove up into Kinver village to the Spar. The rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and nattering.

There and back again

We have just come up for the weekend to check that everything is OK. Arrived Friday evening – meal, a bottle a wine and bed.
On Saturday the weather was really windy. We went for a walk in the morning. In the afternoon we drove out to Much Wenlock in Shropshire for a look around, a very attractive little town. Later I fetched a pallet out of a skip that I’d seen earlier and chopped it up for firewood. Unfortunately I managed to stand on a nail in one of the planks. For a while it was difficult to get my foot to stop bleeding, but I got it under control. In the evening we got fish & chips from the chippie in the town.
We had planned a longer walk on Sunday, but obviously with my foot still painful that wasn’t on. So we went for a short chug up to Ashwood marina, winded then back to Whittington horse bridge, winded again and then back to the mooring.
Monday morning was spent tidying up then back home.

Kinver

We’ve been here since Sunday afternoon. On Monday morning the repair guy came and took a look at the car. More or less immediately he said that the clutch had gone and would need a replacement. He gave me a quote and said that they would pick it up either late Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning. On Wednesday I got a call just after nine to say they were on their way. The car was put up onto a recovery truck and off they went. They brought it back this afternoon. He only charged me for the clutch replacement, not the fetching and return, which I thought was pretty good.

So we have been here for four days, I’m not sure how the time has gone. We have gone for a few walks, one day we spent a few hours cleaning the boat and touching up the paintwork. I did a couple of small jobs on board. It’s always been difficult to see inside the cupboards in the galley. Some while ago I bought some switches to fit to the doors to control lights inside the cupboards. Why didn’t I fit them before ? It’s now so much easier, no getting down on your knees with a torch. Otherwise the time seemed to just slip by – very relaxing.

It’s now Friday, we have a family wedding to attend tomorrow. So breakfast, tidy up and off home.

Stourport

Another latish breakfast then down to the water point by the trip boats for a top up. The weather was pleasantly warm and we arrived in Stourport by early afternoon. We prefer to moor on the river pontoons and there was just about enough room between a small cruiser and another narrowboat. Lots of people were about on the grass by the basins enjoying the sunshine. We went for a walk along the far bank of the river down almost to Lincomb lock and back, then relaxed in the sun reading with a glass of wine. The narrowboat left later, to be replaced fairly quickly by a hire boat, then a series of hire boats came up river looking for moorings. Even though the last 60ft or so of pontoon are clearly marked “for lock use only” a large cruiser arrived, moored up and all the occupants went off to the pub. This caused difficulties for some later arrivals who wanted to use the locks.

We were already in bed when, at about 10 mins to 10, the guy on the small cruiser started his generator (which he had placed by the back of our boat). Heddi got our of bed and went up and asked him to turn it off, which he did grudgingly.

Worcester

Woke up to light drizzly rain, which lasted until about 10 o’clock. So we had a leisurely breakfast waiting for the weather to improve. Eventually we dropped down Avon lock and out onto the Severn. An uneventful trip up to Worcester where we are moored in our usual spot just upstream of the rowing clubs.

We went into town to do a bit of shopping in the afternoon and then back for a meal onboard and an early night.

Tewkesbury

It’s our 38th Wedding Anniversary!

We moored up at the recreation ground in Pershore for a bit of shopping and breakfast. Andrew & Wendy Dyke were there with Lord Toulouse. They were waiting for someone to come and replace the alternator after it been pouring out smoke on the way down from Evesham. They are due out on the Saul to Lechlade Centennial cruise in a few weeks and were glad that the alternator went now rather than then.

We arrived in Tewkesbury about 4:00 and already there was hardly any mooring space, but we squeezed in just past the lock.

Another barbecue to celebrate the wedding anniversary in lovely evening sunshine.

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