Monday, 1 November 2010

To the BCN Bonfire...

...via Worcester? Well, you know us by now, we can't do anything straight forward. We haven't been down this end for about six years, so we thought we'd make a bit of a detour and do the Stourport ring. Just see if anything had changed.
We set off Saturday morning in no great rush to get to Penkridge for the night. It was a bit of a bland day, nothing much happened. To quote young Albert "there were no ship wrecks and nobody drowned, in fact nothing to laugh at all".
Sunday, got up nice and early thanks to GMT. On the way up through Gailey the trees are now taking on that rusty iron look, at lot more pleasing than green.

After Gailey, we're on the summit pound and the twists and turns, like at Coven, are no problem now we're on Achilles, it handles like a toy compared with Dove, so if you do have a senior moment or a brain fart, call it what you will, you're soon back on track and not up the bank.
While travelling this section there seams to be a lot of maggot downers, is it the start of the fishing season? I've never seen so many happy smiling faces.
On the down hill side, the canal seams to have a different flavour, as in lock bits, like the little foot bridges. The one pictured below is of cast iron section and one single span and unusually with no gap for the tow line to slot through. Most of the others have the slot or the remnants of.

Passing through Bratch and Wombourn and the very deep Botterham staircase and stopping at the top side of Hinksford lock.
Waking next morning and it's November. And looking out of the hatch it certainly is, Trees covered in browns and yellows wrapped in a fog, damp and cold, in the distance a lock, ghostly and gray. After a pot of tea things start to look a little better and we set off. Soon passing Greens Forge and into the quiet of the woods, you could be anywhere, turn the corner to Gothersley lock and you're reminded by the bloody graffiti that you're not far from the Stourbridge brainless brats. This part of the canal must have been the hardest to build due to the solid rock it has to go through. The canal in parts, is a stone trough carved in the hillside and must have been sole destroying for the men on the ground.
Arriving at Kidderminster and looking at picture below, you'd think what a wonderful place to stop...This is where a friend of ours was arrased by a group of fourteen year old brats at 4:00am and then attacked. On passing through I did notice a lack of boats tied up.
Back on the foot bridge theme, here's the one at Kidderminster lock complete with slot and line guards. It's been modernised some what but the main bits are still there.
Passing through Kidderminster I was glad to see this old mill building still standing and being used. I was going to take another photo of the other side but, I was gob smacked to see Debenhams had stuck a glass carbuncle on the front, are these architects blind or just daft.

Yet another bridge, sorry. But I really like this one
The last bridge of the day, shame there's no steam loco on it.
We're now tied up at Stourport, River Severn tomorrow.

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