Joe has been muttering about The Shroppie for the past two years and at last we have made our way on to it. We left our mooring at Swindon on Wednesday at 08.30 in windy conditions so the plan was to 'piggy-back' the locks so neither boat had to 'hover' while waiting to get into a lock. Jill and I worked the locks together getting both Caxton and Matilda Rose through. The first boat through scuttled off to the next lock, moored on the lock landing and prepared the lock so by the time the lock crew arrived we could open the gates and get the 'following' boat into the lock. This boat then went on to prep the next lock while we got the moored boat in and through.
Caxton in the Botterham staircase lock with MR moored below on the lock landing.
Working the Bratch flight, Caxton in the lock, MR moored and Graham posing for the Camera
The famous Bratch toll house - no sign of the lock keeper today but when we came through in 2008 on our maiden 'voyage' the lockie was here to advise a befuddled Lesley on how they all worked.
The sun has come out
We stopped in Compton to use the supermarket marked in the Collins guide. When we arrived I recognised the place from our first trip including the chandlers where we had to buy a new chimney to REPLACE the new chimney we had lost to a malicious tree branch. Jill and I scurried with rucksacks to get the provisions but were overcome by the range of goodies and exceeded our carrying capacity so the store loaned us a couple of trolleys AND, a trolley dolly, meet Danny...
What a lovely lad, Danny of Daisy Fresh Foods
Aldersley Junction up here to Wolverhampton and Birmingham - but not this time as we go past.
Caxton in the Stop lock at the start of the Shroppie canal