|The Packhorse Bridge, Great Hayward|
The blue tooth keyboard is set up and this week's photos have been downloaded so I can remember where we've been and what we've seen. We turned for home last week and we've pootled back down the Shroppie, enjoying our favourite isolated mooring spots and the peacefulness of this rural canal. We tried not to get caught up in the midsummer mayhem caused by a mixture of day boaters and holiday makers but we couldn't avoid all of them and it's been hard to stay calm in the face of ignorance and arrogance. As we left the Shroppie, through the stop lock at Autherley, we were met by a 70 footer trying to come in. He seemed to think that he had the right of way, but we were already in the lock - I don't think he has read his boating handbook regarding 'Lock Etiquette'. It's hard to claim the lock is yours when the other boat is sitting in it waiting to come out.
|One final photo of the Shropshire Canal|
The previous day, we'd been in a queue for the lock at Wheaten Aston, it's a well know bottle-neck during the summer, being the only lock between Autherley and Tyrley. There are miles and miles of lock free cruising once you're through there so people are usually good humoured and patient and there are plenty of gongoozlers to help with opening and closing the gates. I left Carl and Tricky in the queue and walked up to the lock to assist a hire boater who had opened the top paddles without closing the bottom ones. His wife was on board, and in a panic, threw the throttle into forward gear, sending the boat hurtling towards the gates. Up pounded a woman with a windlass who began shouting orders, causing more panic and the poor lady in the hire boat was almost in tears. Fortunately, the lady knocked it out of gear and calm and order was restored. I talked to the nervous lady until the gates opened and her husband took over the tiller again. The 'Windlass Woman' turned to me and said 'We own our own boat you know' as if I hadn't watched them making a right pigs ear of mooring at the services just ten minutes earlier. I refrained from making a sarcastic reply and left her to it and went to talk to a lovely family who were on a hire boat behind us and wanted to know how to operate the lock. We will always remember our first boating holiday and the kind people we met along the way. We were very grateful for their help and so we always try to help other boaters whenever we can. If you're going to be snooty and patronising then at least learn to moor your boat tidily.
|Oh My! What large onions you have!|
|Essex Bridge, Great Hayward|
That's all for now my friends. The Lady Aberlour is mooring up for a few weeks while we meet up with my sister from Aussie and check if the the grass has grown at all since we were last home.
Lots of love
The Floating Chandlers
PS. We finally came across the Little Chimney Boat and got a new coolie hat. Thanks Kim, sorry it was so early!
PPS. A boat came up behind us at Colwick Lock and the wife came to help me with the gates. I asked her if they always travelled so early and she replied that they'd been woken by something on the roof and she'd looked out to see the man on the next boat waving his arms. She went to see what was the matter to find him in his underpants rescuing a squirrel from the water. It was rummaging around on his roof, fell off and couldn't climb out. What a picture that conjures up!
|Gatehouse at Shugborough Estate|
|Cottage at Little Hayward, Trent and Mersey Canal|
|Anyone want to apply for this post?|
|Fungus or Fungi?|
|Steep steps up to the bus stop at Gnosall|
|Met an old friend at Penkridge|
|Down in the depths|
|Acton Trussell - lovely dahlias|