Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Norbury Junction

We stayed at Brewood an extra couple of days to sit out the forecast high winds and rain. We must have been located to miss the worst of it however, it was worth the wait. Our journey today was going to be conducted in two legs. First to Wheaton Aston for services. We had a short wait at the only lock of the day, then we arrived at the village. There is a garage here by the road bridge which sells red diesel, reportedly the cheapest on the cut. Today it was 58p a litre. We also filled with water, and whilst waiting the crew decided the four legged member was looking untidy, so out came the brush at which point the wrestling match commenced.


Once replenished with diesel gas and water we resumed our journey. On route we passed through a few more deep cuttings, where the trees now in full leaf provided a green roof over the canal. We also decided to check out potential mooring spots which we could mark in our book for future reference. We found a nice rural location near the village of Church Eaton where we could get right into the bank. A mile or so further on we entered Cowley Tunnel, however at only 81 yards it is more of a long bridge.
We passed through the village of Gnosall, which is where we planned to stay had we not opted to spend a week at the Stafford Boat Club. We made the right choice. After Gnosall it was only two miles further to our planned stop. We traversed the Shelmore Embankment which runs for almost a mile. Heavily wooded on both sides it is a substantial feat of engineering, considering it was built without modern machinery. Telford, the famous canal engineer failed to see the completion of this canal due to repeated collapses of this embankment. At the northern end of the embankment we reached our destination of Norbury Junction and Wharf.


                                     Views from our mooring at Norbury Junction.

After lunch we took a short walk to have a look at the wharf and maintenance yard. At the junction only a short arm remains of the Newport branch. Although much of this canal branch is filled in the route is largely intact and therefore restoration is a possibility for the future. It currently serves as a private mooring and boatyard services.

                                                 Short arm of the Newport Branch.

                                              Norbury Wharf maintenance yard.

The diesel here is a penny a litre more, but there is a chandlers and shop here. The warm weather has well and truly arrived so we purchased ice creams to cool down. We are only staying here for one night then it is on to Market Drayton.

Totals 10 Miles 1 Lock 1 Tunnel

Running total 251 Miles 101 Locks 11 Tunnels

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