Tuesday 11 October 2022

Car Shuffle Day

The car was left at Swanley Bridge when we picked up the boat a week ago and at some stage we need to move it Droitwich. Of course, we could leave that task until we are back in our marina but looking at the travel options, and the risk that rail strikes might again be on the agenda, we took advantage of being close to a train station to do the deed today.

Mike bought his ticket for the first leg last night so only need to walk to the station this morning and jump aboard the 10:22 train to Crewe. He had also booked a taxi to take him from Crewe station to Swanley Bridge Marina.

The train was pretty swift - only 35 minutes with stops at Penkridge and Stafford. As he was on time, Mike had a few minutes to wait before the taxi arrived since we had left that gap just in case here was a delay and to avoid the taxi having to wait.

All went well and now a bit ahead of the provisional schedule, Mike collected the car, dropped off the parking permit at the marina office and drove into Nantwich. Just before we left home we had a voucher from Morrisons for 5p a litre off our next fuel purchase from them. Alas, the Morrisons store on Devizes does  not have a filling station associated with it and the voucher is not valid at the one where there is Morrisons Daily! The voucher was only valid for a short period and would expire before we return home. Hence the decision to fill up here, even though it would not otherwise have been needed . . .

It was now possible to use the sat nav to estimate a time of arrival at Droitwich Marina and then to book a taxi.

The motorway journey was event free - there was a short stretch of 40 limit on account of an accident on the other carriageway - and Mike arrived at the marina three minutes ahead of the estimated ETA. Fortunately the taxi was five minutes early as this meant that it would just be possible to catch the next as well as buy a ticket from the platform machine, which for once performed as intended (we have had mostly problems with them!)

The first part of this journey was the Smethwick Galton Bridge (alongside the New Main Line canal into Birmingham). The station is at two levels where lines cross at right angles. It turned out that the quoted journey times from National Rail were based on a two minute dash from upper to lower levels. Still, even with a train on time it worked well. The other trains today were busy but by no means full but this one, heading towards Aberystwyth, had few spare seats. Only a short hop to Wolverhampton in any case. Mike was back at the boat just before two.

Later, Christine took a trip to the nearby Aldi for a few items - not impressed. She had spent the day on a range of chores around the boat, mostly cleaning through from front door to back door.

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