Thursday, 28 May 2015


As planned we departed Coven at 8 am this morning. A little over an hour later we approached the narrows prior to Autherley Junction. Fortunately, we had received a tip from our winter neighbours on the blog yesterday to send the crew ahead. This proved effective, as we met the only oncoming boat at one of the few passing places.

                             Entering the narrows which are cut out of the sandstone.


                                    Looking back towards the boat we met in the middle.

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.

                            Approaching Autherley Junction and the Shropshire Union Canal.


                                                         Entering the stop lock. 

                                         Grooves cut into the metal by the towing ropes.


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. 

              Mooring pins required here. Sainsbury carrier bags providing trip hazard warning.

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.

                    The solution, wheelbarrow wheels to hold the boat away from the shelf.

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

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