Friday 18 March 2022

Back to the Marina

Today's Canals - Worcester and Birmingham, Droitwich

The day started not as chilly as the past few days but with a thin cloud layer. we cast off and continued our way north back towards the marina.

We mentioned yesterday the streets of tightly built terraces - they seem to have been built around the end of the 19C and the first decade of the 20C.

Next along is a slightly later group of more upmarket houses, in fours named villas - the set on the left are called Crescent Villas and those on the right Welbeck Villas. Perhaps these were meant to appeal to the supervisors or foremen in the factories where the rest of the residents lived.

This bridge just below the first of the Gregory's Mill locks, looks as if it was once intended for rather more than the pedestrian traffic it carries today. Gregory's (to the right of the picture) was a Corn Mill which has long been demolished and is now a low grade industrial estate. On the left was once a Brick and Tile Works, now a housing estate. It appears from old maps that this pr3idge originally carried industrial traffic between the two sites

By the time we came up the lock the sun had started to' burn' off the thin cloud and frequent blue patches were already shining through. The rest of the day was pleasantly warm - a real spring day, just right for cruising a canal!

We may have mentioned this next site before but just in case, dear reader, you would like a refresher: It is said to be known locally as the Cadburys site but during both the 1914-1918  and the 1939-1945 conflicts. The factory produced small arms ammunition in large quantities. Once peace time returned it reverted to cake making. However in 1974 its owners now called Cadburys Schweppes, closed and sold the site.

The first pound (a longer one) was rather low but we managed to scrape along without running extras water down. We did come aground near the entrance to the next lock but eventually found a way in. However, the one we had a problem on the way down was full today.

Alongside the top lock is a splendid farm house.We have not found out much about it - it certainly was not the local manor house which was at HIndlip. Several buildings have been coerted into offices and also there is a day nursery which specialises in giving children, as far as possible, an outdoor experience. However, its style and approach have not found favour with OFSTED and it has recently had to make changes to satisfy the inspectors.

Shortly after leaving the flight of locks we moored up for lunch. Before setting off again Mike had a couple of tasks. The first to sweep the chimney, was easily completed but the second (which he thought would be the easier) was to check the prop. There had been slight signs pof something around it but he was surprised to discover the remains of what we think was an anglers net. It certainly was reluctant to be torn apart to get it off and although there was not a large volume it took a long time before Mike was satisfied that the prop was now clear.

We eventually decided to make it back to the marina tonight so that we have time for a few more tasks tomorrow before we need to set off back home.

This building in Shernal Green has intrigued us for a while, with its distinctive mix of architectural styles. However, our researches so far have not taken us anywhere so if anyone knows more . . . 

The three Hanbury Locks felt quite a challenge - the side ponds mean that one lock is almost as much work as two normal locks. They were also all empty so that meant even more work as filling them also involved using the side ponds. Alas, where were the vollie lockies when you need them? At the bottom a boat was inconsiderately moored on the lock landing - there is no room to come in other than for one boat so we had to use the lock steps. In addition, the boat was not properly tied up so it swung out into our path and had to be encourage back towards the bank.

Back in the marina we could see that the swans had made good progress in the past four days with their next and the mother was sitting comfortably. Her mate was nowhere to be seen! With little wind to blow us off course, we soon made it back onto our pontoon.

9.1 Miles - 15 Locks

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing the house at Shernal Green being either built or renovated some years ago. We always assumed it was a new build but didn't look for old maps to see what was there before. Even old OS maps would show it I would think.
    Lovely cruising weather!