It was not long after exiting the narrows that we approached Autherley Junction. This is where the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal meets with the Shropshire Union Canal. Straight on was towards Stourport and the river Severn, a journey for another day. We were turning right towards Chester.
The stop lock at Autherley Junction is necessary, because the Shropshire Union Canal is about one foot lower than the Staffs and Worcs Canal. This was because the different canal companies at the time wanted to protect their own water, as it was a precious resource. It is possible to see how busy this junction was in its day, by the way the horse towing ropes have cut grooves into the iron work over the years. Just after the junction we stopped for water and to visit the Morrisons superstore for supplies.
After lunch we resumed our journey, now heading steadily north west. A couple of hours later we arrived at the village of Brewood, pronounced Brood. A feature of this canal is that it has some deep sided, and heavily wooded cuttings, which feel as if you are in a different world as you travel through.
The visitor moorings at Brewood only allow 48 hours stays, so we passed through the village centre and moored on the far side where we can remain for up to 14 days.
We have also encountered for the first time the infamous Shroppie shelf. For anyone reading this not in the know, this canal has a concrete shelf running almost its entire length conveniently submerged about one foot under the water. Consequently any attempt at mooring tight into the bank is doomed to fail, and movement of the boat results in a constant annoying banging and scraping noise.
We are now settled for the weekend and will aim to move early next week, subject to the weather. Depending on our timings we may deviate on route along the Middlewich Branch to visit the Middlewich festival.
Totals 10 Miles 1 Lock
Running total 241 Miles 100 Locks 10 Tunnels