Wednesday 30 October 2019

Back into the Marina

Today's Canals - Worcester and Birmingham, Droitwich

Our final cruising day of the season and another bright and sunny one, although a little more cloud cover meant that it was not quite a cold as the previous few days.

Overnight we realised that the old Pump House building appears to have been demolished. So, unusually for us, these two pictures are from an earlier visit in 2014. No doubt someone felt that they did not fit in with the new housing developments. Pity.

We set off in good time, with just a short distance before the Astwood Flight.

The trees provide a colourful display alongside John Corbett Way.

This cottage has just been sold - looks interesting with what appears to be the old privy intact (or was it a coal house?)

We arrived at Astwood Top Lock and began our descent.

A hire boat from Worcester arrived soon after and as they had a good crew they kindly closed the gates for most of the locks which speeded up our timings.

The previous blog claimed that a bridge like this was perhaps unique - today we were easily proved wrong!

There is a short run from the flight to Hanbury Junction where we turned right onto the Droitwich. There were three volunteers on duty today, one at each of the three locks before the marina. These all have working side ponds and the volunteers enjoy helping crews use them and so save a bit of water - even if today there was plenty coming down the Worcester and Birmingham.

There were several boats coming up and the boat which had been behind us at Astwood turned down here. However, we were a bit puzzled as the automated indicator clearly showed that the conditions on the Severn were unsafe for navigation. We did later see, as we drove into town, that the boat going down had had to turn around as it was now making its way back up to Hanbury.

We turned into the marina and found our berth - pone or two people including our pontoon neighbour, recognised so it felt a bit like returning home! As well as mooring we had to set up the long term services - water and electricity.

However, we have committed ourselves to a thorough clean of the boat especially as the outside is looking rather mucky. As soon as lunch was over, Christine started on the inside and completed the front cabin and the bathroom. The cleaning water looked very unhealthy by the time she had finished! Well, it has been rather muddy on the towpath of late!

Mike tackled the roof which he gave a preliminary wash and scrub but it will take more effort yet before we are at all satisfied. The non-slip surface holds dirt especially well and we have found that by far the best tool for the job is a cheap foam sponge combined with lots (and we mean lots) of elbow grease. A good dollop of Flash in the cleaning water also helps. We find that this way removes the dirt much more effectively than a scrubbing brush or similar.

Also during the day Christine has been tracking down a replacement glass screen for the multifuel stove. There is a retail agent in Pershore, about ten miles away, who has been very helpful but it seems that the smallest parts (the clips) are just not in the UK at the moment and on two weeks delivery! However, he hopes to be able to tell us tomorrow that he has the rest and so long as the old clips still work we may be OK. The event has prompted us to read the instruction manual again and it seems that we may have fallen into the wrong way of using the stove and so, having been advised that we can still use the stove so long as the crack does not leak smoke, we have a much hotter cabin tonight!

By 3.30 the light was fading and the outside temperature falling so we called a halt to cleaning and popped into town for a few items at Morrisons.

3.2 Miles - 9 Locks


  1. Did you see the photo in my blog tonight taken down the Aston flight, lock 10

  2. That 4 line link didn't work for me, simply returning a blank screen, but no error message. I'm going to guess you were referring to the cantilever foot bridge.
    When faced with very long URLs I find to be a valuable resource, thus

  3. Not until now! Been a bit busy today . . . However, I do recall the bridge and also remembered the advice that as soon as you say something is unique you are quickly proved otherwise, no matter what!