Thursday 6 October 2022


Today's Canal - Shropshire Union

The weather this morning could not be more different from yesterday!

The bywashes are running well . . . What will they be like at some of the more 'notorious' locks, especially Tyrley? We shall see.

We still had the last two locks of the Audlem flight to complete. The top lock has long been known for having a small stall, especially with home made cakes. Christine bought enough for two refreshment breaks! (Later we can add that the scones were tasty)

For this top lock we had help from a very friendly volunteer lock keeper who had just walked up from further down, below our mooring. He, too, was heading for the cakes.

Not all of the trees have changed to their autumnal colours or lost their leaves yet but this bridge is beautifully framed.

Just before Adderley we could see this large and imposing house across the fields, close to the village. Modern day maps give no indication but looking at somewhat older ones we discovered that it was originally the Rectory for the parish. Those were the days! Wonder how many servants, daughters waiting to marry, and elderly spinster aunts were accommodated therein?

Arriving at Adderley Locks we were slightly surprised to see old-style black and white signs. Most have now been replaced by the current blue design but it does show how dated the previous style now looks in comparison.

At the top lock, another small hut - this time complete with lock keeper.

Shortly after leaving the top of the flight the towpath changed sides, passing over this Turnover Bridge. It is not the latest design (the most effective ones are the 'snake' bridges mainly on the Macclesfield) but it is still rather impressive.

We stopped for lunch at Market Drayton although we did not need to visit the supermarkets which are about ten minutes walk from here.

After a stop at the services we continued on to the next flight about 25 minutes almost straight cruise. Tyrley is quite a landmark on this canal as these are almost the first locks since the start down at Autherley Junction. There is a stop lock at the start but then only the isolated single lock at Wheaton Aston.

The final run towards the bottom lock is carved out of rock. Like most of the deep cuttings on the Shroppie, the towpath remains wet and often muddy throughout the year. We were quite fortunate with this flight as we only had to close two out of the five locks - we encountered boats coming down just at the right time. (The last one was well timed as the previous top gate had swung open after Mike had closed it and he was on the point of going back to shut it again when Christine signalled a boat coming down)

Above the locks we stopped for the night. The stretch ahead is another cutting with no real option to moor so it would take a while before we could then stop and as we are not short to time we found a space (and there are not many) above Tyrley.

6.7 Miles - 12 Locks

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