Monday, 6 June 2011

I said I wouldn't, but I did...

I promised myself that I would NOT do 41 locks in one day but what did I do today?  Yep, 41 locks.  We left Tardebigge top lock this morning at 06.40 and made our way down the flight.  Last night a hire boat had come up quite late and we thought an early start would ensure the locks were in our favour - Oh what sad deluded fools!    Leaky locks are not going to wait for man or boat so the majority of the locks were on the empty side as we approached them today.  It took us three and a half hours to 29 locks, so not bad going for a crew of 'me and im'.
 The grade2 listed ex pumping station at the top of the tardebigge, well almost the top.  This had a Newcomen steam engine originally and was used to pump water from the Tardebigge reservoir to the summit of the flight of locks.
 Here we go
 The bottom gates are open and Joe is climbing back down to Caxton
 Tardebigge Reservoir - preserve of anglers with attitude!
 I have been scuttling between locks on the trusty bicycle - the dogs have stopped their habit of knocking me off the damn thing - prepping the next lock so Caxton can go straight in and then cycling back to the lock Caxton has just left to close the gates - I think I covered about 350 miles today,well it felt like it anyway.
 The lock cottage owned by the Landmark Trust - (for you David and Amanda)
 How many more?

We called a halt after completing the Tardebigge flight and had an hour off to recover before setting off to do the six locks of the Stoke flight and the next six locks of the Astwood flight.

 The Stoke Prior wharf, home of one of the Black Prince hire boat fleets.
 And this is why so many of the locks were empty - bit leaky or what?
 Oh look, another lock...
 Astwood lock cottage, a sight to behold.  The owner of this cottage is a SERIOUS cottage gardener. Roses, honeysuckle, clematis, papavers, and numerous cottage garden plants plus, a serious vegetable garden on the other side of the lock - add free range eggs for sale!
 A wealth of buttercups along the towpath
That's it, enough.   arrived at Hanbury Wharf and moored outside the pub, that was the only moorings available, honest..  We had a pint, it would have been rude not to, and then went and had a look at the progress on the about to be restored Droitwich canal - more of which in the next post.


Amanda said...

Thank you Lesley! Was there anyone in?

Lucky you doing all those locks in one day. Locking heaven I would call it! We have yet to do that particular flight and here you are having done it twice in a very short time span.

Catch you soon!

Captain Ahab said...

Guess who is going down the Droitwich on the Monday after it reopens?

Adam said...

One of the planned days in our forthcoming trip is those 41 locks, but going up.

The cottage with the roses looks like the one lived in by the lock keeper and his wife who were featured on the Julia Bradbury Canal Walks programme. The wife did all the talking, and the only thing that made her smile was telling a story about a man who fell in the lock and died!

Anonymous said...

There's no need to audition to be crew on the next BCN Challenge Leslie, though your 24 hour average does need to come up a bit to really be in with a chance :-D

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

ps. We haven't done Tardebigge in ID yet but she got her name after a few bevivies at the pub at the bottom!

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Amanda
Yes, there was a family staying at the cottage. I spoke to them as they were wheel-barrowing their luggage to their vehicle. I think we will be pootling up and down the W&B fairly regularly and now the Droitwich is about to open...we will 'do' that as well!

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Chris
See you there!

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Adam
I met the man of the house at Astwood lock on our way up - I called to him that his garden was a credit to him but he glowered at the dogs and went inside.. pleasant..

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Sue
I would be up for the BCN Challenge but I don't know about Himself...

Pip - nb Windsong said...

41 locks!!! Are you mad!!! - you're a better man than I,Gunga Din!!! We set off again today - hopefully see you in the not too distant future, but we are going to take our time down the Shroppie and the Staffs and Worcs so it will be a little while yet. xxx

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Pip
Glad to hear from you. We are taking a mooring in Stourport from 10th June so we will see you there when you guys arrive.