Sunday 10 April 2022

Stoke Pound

 Today's Canals - Droitwich, Worcester and Birmingham

After yesterday's preparations we should have been ready to leave our mooring at the scheduled time of 9.30 but time slipped a bit when do the final round of servicing. We were also a bit perplexed - last night we noticed  very strange readings on our battery management system which seemed to suggest that the batteries were not being charged despite a display that said 'Charging'. As soon as came off the shore line (which has been providing power whilst in the marina) and started the engine, all seemed as usual. We concluded that what ever is the problem it is specific to the mains charger, rather than the engine driven alternator.

So, it was just before 10 as we passed through the marina entrance - the obligatory photo to prove that we actually have left!

We were pleased to see that a couple of volunteer lockies were around to help up the three Hanbury locks as these are often hard work - especially when, as we were, following another boat as this means having to open and shut the side pounds twice.

At the junction that immediately follows we turned left towards Tardebigge and Birmingham - although our target for today is Stoke Pound, the short gap before the main Tardebigge flight of 30 locks. We have arranged that Andrew will join us at that point.

Before long we arrived at the bottom lock in the Astwood flight of six.

A bit warmer than of late with some blue skies.

At the top lock there is a sturdy and durable seat for those who like to watch others at work! It is also a memorial to Daphne Allen and her boat Sefton who died in 1996. 

Someone has attached a short poem which reads:

Leafy-with-love sun banks and the green waters of the canal
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word

Canal Bank Walk - Patrick Cavanagh

In the longer pound at the top of the flight we paused for lunch before going on to the Stoke flight, a second set of six. 

The once important salt works at Stoke Pound are no longer and the new housing site shows little of its past save for the bridge over the access into the works for freight carrying canal boats

Gosh - that much?

Alongside the Black Prince hire base is a small picnic site. As a new explanatory board says, this was  created when a factory belonging to Mr L G Harris moved to new premises. His name still lives on in a brand of quality paint brushes.

Black Prince have adopted a new livery for their hire fleet - the boats have long been well recognised across the canals in their distinctive colours. The new boats however still retain the iconic bumper bow.

Lock 28 has a bottom gate balance beam that looks as if it may not last until it can be replaced. Let's hope the sticky tape does the job until then.

We arrived at the top of Stoke locks and moored as planned. Andrew arrived an hour or so later.

4.7 Miles - 15 Locks

1 comment:

  1. Sefton is still chugging around with a different owner now as Eric died some years back