London, Scotland and Some Canals

Worcester to Stratford - II

Tuesday 27th September2022
Wednesday 28th September 2022
Thursday 29th September 2022
Friday 30th September 2022

Tuesday 27th September, 2022

Drop Cap had a surprisingly reasonable night. Mac requested another pillow and put three pillows and the rolled up counterpane against the back wall and I slept more or less sitting up. I had slumped a bit by ;morning but in general it was less uncomfortable for my back problems.

Along the Canal

Peaceful Canal

Drop Cap nyway it has been cool and damp today. We were able to get outside for a bit but the rain and cold drove us inside where Brian had lit the little stove. We are having a real cruising day today, no locks! We cruised from Alvechurch to the intersection with the Stratford Canal.

Canal Bridge

Bridge Over Untroubled Water

Drop Cap t is lovely country, very woodsy. It is difficult to realise that behind the hedges which fringe the canal it is really very urban. The trees are starting to change colour.

Guillotine Lock

Graffitied Guillotine Lock

Drop Cap e went through an old and interesting "guillotine lock", no longer used, which used to differentiate the water of two different canals. Strange looking thing. We stopped at a waterpoint for lunch, Boston Baked Beans and fresh bread rolls, baked plums with ginger and cream. Nice.

Elderberries Along the Canal


Drop Cap e dawdled, (a very shallow canal) past tulgy woods, oaks loaded with acorns, elders dripping with red berries and lots of others I didn't know. (I only knew elder because I asked Ian). During the afternoon Ian and Mac walked a fair way to an electric swing bridge with the CART key, to stop traffic, which they did, about 17 cars. When Mac and Ian got back on and we went on, the canal was so beautiful, green and still. Still, it is very shallow though. I would like to sit out more but it is cold and still raining off and on. Doesn't stop it being lovely.

 Canalside Pub

Wharf Tavern Beside the Canal

Drop Cap hen we got to our evening mooring, fairly near a pub, we had an hour to dinner, so Mac and I walked up to see if we could get wifi. We bought halves of cider and were told what to do to get on to the wifi but were unable to connect. This is a nuisance because we wanted to send an anniversary greeting to Monica and Warwick, whose 60th anniversary is tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow we can find an easier wifi.

Drop Cap ame back for an enormous meal, celeriac and apple soup, lamb and broadbean stew with new potatoes and carrots, and sticky toffee pudding! I feel really stuffed. Then, after we adjourned to the butty, Ellie brought us coffee and after dinner mints! I began to feel like a Monty Python skit.
And so to bed.

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Wednesday 28th September, 2022

Along the Canal

Rosemary Enjoys Canals

Drop Cap t was a lovely sunny day today.
After breakfast we set off down the canal towards Stratford upon Avon. After our lovely lock-free day yesterday we found lots today, in very quick succession.

 Canal Lock

Locks Again

Drop Cap ince Mac is out with the crew all day, I got to sit in the boat and watch. Brian suggested that I have a bit of a wander, as the locks were very close together, so I did. It took quite a while to get down the first flight, several other boats were also wanting the locks.

 Lock Flight

Lock Flight on Stratford Canal


 Canal Boat


Drop Cap e passed a boatyard where someone was working on an attractive boat called "Bancroft" so I took a photo for our friend Christopher Bancroft.

 Lock Worker

"Vulgar Boatman" at the Lock

Drop Cap unch was ham and pea quiche (a bit different) with salad, and nectarine crumble (halved nectarines topped with a nutty crumble mix and baked.) Nice.
After lunch, more locks and a sanitary station where we filled up with water and pumped out the sullage tanks (these things have to be done) and went on.

 Lock Cottage

Renovated Lock Cottage

Drop Cap t the sanitary station lock there was a cute barrel-roofed lock cottage and another further down the canal. They are a feature of the Stratford canals and, although they are now all privately owned, they add something to the appeal of the canals.

 Lock Cottage

Original Lock Cottage

Drop Cap urther down we passed one which had not been prettified, and had a "lot more character" (as they say on "Escape to the Country").


No Wind in the Willows

Drop Cap ac says our mooring tonight is 300 metres from a motorway (which we can hear in the distance) and beside a sewerage farm. So salubrious. Although it did not make its presence felt.
Dinner tonight was avocado and bacon salad (I had Mac's avocado as well as my own) pulled pork in cider, mustard mash, red cabbage and zucchini, pear tart with Greek yoghurt.
The crew had sausage and mash which I personally would have preferred to the pork but it was all quite good and tasty.

Drop Cap e did not adjourn to the butty tonight, a bit tired. Mac has been very physically active today with all the locks. Hopefully tomorrow will be calmer. And maybe we will find some wifi for communication. We feel very cut off.

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Thursday 29th September, 2022

 Sun on Canal

The Sun Breaks Through

Drop Cap t started out very wet this morning but cleared to a lovely afternoon. We had lunch with sun streaming in through the windows, minestrone soup with fresh chewy bread rolls, and baked pears with almonds. Fine.
We seem at last to have come to the end of locks for a while at least, as we head down into Shakespeare country.

Stratford Lock

Typical Lock on the Stratford Canal

Drop Cap e hope we can get some wifi tonight, it depends on where Brian decides to stop. Wilmcote would be good, but I feel he wants to stop earlier. We'll see.
There have been about ten locks today, but somewhat more spaced out than the last couple of days.
I hope it stays fine, but the Bureau says rain.


Swan Family on Edstone Aqueduct

Drop Cap e moored tonight short of Wilmcote at Edstone Aqueduct, which spanned fields, two roads and a railway line. We walked along to it and crossed it, but as we were returning it started to rain. A swan family drifted by, two adults and three almost grown cygnets.


Peaceful Canal

Drop Cap inner was camembert cheese baked in filo, beef and mushroom casserole and apple and berry crumble with custard. Very nice too. We adjourned to the butty with Peter and Ian and chatted until Mac was asleep and Ian nearly so. So we called it a night and returned to our side.
Tomorrow is our last day of this tour. Hope all goes smoothly in Stratford.

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Friday 30th September, 2022

Lock Worker

Ian Works the Locks

Drop Cap nfortunately today has been very wet, with quite a lot of locks. This means Mac has been on his feet most of the day and is also soaked.
The day started before breakfast when Ellie, one of the crew, and I realised there was a sheep stuck in brambles right on the edge of the other side of the canal. I was worried it would fall in but it could not really move. Ellie poled the butty over to the offside and plunged into the blackberries, wearing shorts. She managed to disentangle the sheep but got quite a lot of scratches herself (unlike the sheep which had a thick woolly coat!) She is a sweet girl, a pharmacist and cat lover, but she is concerned for all animals.

Lock Worker

Mac Enjoying His Work!

Drop Cap ince we had so many locks today Ellie was required to help so I offered Natalie the chef myself as a substitute as Ellie was galley slave today. I didn't do much, but kept Natalie company as she prepared today's meals. After lunch (sausage plait, goats cheese and red onion jam, and baked apples with yoghurt) Brian suggested I repair to the butty where the fire had been lit so I joined Peter and watched the rain and the constant work of the others. At one point Richard, crew member, dropped a windlass into the water and they had to fish for it with a magnet.

Moored at Stratford

Bywater Moored at Stratford

Drop Cap nyway, we reached Stratford Upon Avon by about 1700 and slipped into a slot opposite the theatre and in front of the statue of Shakespeare. Now we have to pack up and find our B and B and the laundry!
Dinner tonight was tomato soup, coq au vin and profiteroles with cream and chocolate icing.

Here endeth the first tour.

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