*****Is going there and back to see how far it is.*****

Hi I am Jo…wife, lover, best friend and soulmate to Keith. Lover of all things to do with nature and the canals. I am passionate about the Waterways and its history.

I hope you will join me in my rambles and do please comment – I love to hear from and meet new people in blogland!

Life on the cut through my eyes.

Daisypath Anniversary tickers
*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Opposite Stretton Boatyard, north of Brewood, Shropshire Union canal to Penkridge.

Map image

 Travelled 20.1 miles, worked 8 locks in a time of 8 hours 50 minutes.

We did not make an early start because we were heading to Wheaton Aston for diesel at Turners. Despite having a later start we were still awake very early, so got up and got jobs done, I also made a Lamb Stew which would spend all day cooking slowly in the back cabin stove. Keith did us both Marmalade on Toast for breakfast.


At 8.40am we set off from our overnight mooring, leaving Sarah and Jim on their boats Chertsey and Bakewell. We would see them on the way back. We made it to Wheaton Aston Lock, where I worked, whilst Keith steered the boat. We had our first sighting of the new Canal and River Trsut logo on one of the BW vans.


A BW worker arrived to clear the debris banking up behind the lock gate.

We pulled in at Turners to fill our diesel tanks. Turners is one of the cheapest places on the cut for diesel, we ended up taking on 477.2 litres of diesel at 77.9 pence a litre, I will leave you to do the maths, all's I know is we saved ourselves a lot of money by coming to turners to fill up.


Having finished filling up with diesel, we reversed back through the bridge 'ole, at 10.15am we then winded and moored up on the sanitary station to empty a cassette, take on water and get rid of rubbish. I walked back up to the lock and set it for us after another boat had gone up in front of us, we were to over take them further up the canal after they pulled in to let us pass. Back at Stretton Wharf, Sarah and Jim were working on their boats Chertsey and Bakewell, so we got to have a quick chat with them, wishing them a good summer before me carried on towards Brewood. At Brewood not only were we constantly on tick over passing all the moored boats, there was also a fishing match taking place.


On our way again at cruising speed, I got on with making us some lunch and a coffee, I also checked on our Lamb Stew, which was cooking nicely. It seemed to take an age to get to Autherley Junction because of lots of moored boats along the way, but we eventually arrived there at 1.30pm


We turned back on to the Staffs and Worcs Canal and found we had a plastic cruiser behind us, so we allowed it to pass, as it would be much quicker than us and with the narrows coming up we felt he should go first. Thankfully we did not meet anyone in the narrows.


It was lovely to see we were not the only ones enjoying the cut today. These youngsters were having a whale of a time.

kingfisher 3

This little chap happily sat and allowed me to photograph it. I am a huge fan of the Kingfisher.


We arrived at Gailey and the 3rd lock of the day, as the sun was beginning to set.

By the time we reached Robaston Lock the sun was beginning to set and we had a boat coming in the other direction, as the lock was empty I opened the gates ready for them to enter the lock. As I worked the lock for us, I stood and watched the sun setting, with the noise of the M6 behind me. The stunning sight of the sun setting, drowned out the noise of the traffic. Whilst we carried on, I fed Mog and Dog.


Having done Otherton Lock we made our way to the 48 hour moorings at Cross Keys Bridge. We moored up in front of Monarch and Grimsby belonging to Viv and Simon. It was another long and yet rewarding day. By the time we stopped it was 6.10pm, so Keith took Paddy for his evening walk and I dished up our Lamb Stew and Dumplings, which was much needed after such a long day. I have a feeling we will be in bed early again tonight, because I know I am shattered.

Chat soon xx

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Roseford Bridge No.94, Staffs & Worcs canal, Acton Trussell to moored opposite Stretton Boatyard, north of Brewood, Shropshire Union canal.


Travelled 20.8 miles, worked 11 locks in a time of 9 hours, 25 minutes.

We set off at 8.05am towards my first lock of the day.


Shutt Hill Lock was in our favour, which was a good start to what was going to be a very long day.

We then headed towards Penkridge having done two other locks, I stepped off the boat at Penkridge lock, which was against us.


The footbridge has been surrounded by scaffolding and this was to be the same at Otherton and Robaston Locks. I have a feeling this is for Health and Safety reasons, and before long there will probably be handrails on these three footbridges.

Spring is definitely on the way as there were many Daffodils out in flowers and I also saw some Violets.



At Cross Keys Bridge, Penkridge we saw Monarch and Grimsby, but no sign of wither Viv or Simon.


It was onward to Gailey Lock.


We got to meet up with the guys who have been cutting down all the over hanging vegetation along the canal.


At 3.15pm we turned on to the Shropshire Union Canal at Autherley Junction.


We pressed on and found ourselves behind another boat was we passed the Wolverhampton boat club. The boat very kindly allowed us to pass them, so we pressed on to wards Brewood, which we were hoping to moor at for the night, but having arrived at Brewood to find no mooring space, we were less inclined to press on to Wheaton Aston, just in case it was the same situation there, so having crossed the Stretton Aqueduct over the A5, we pulled into the towpath opposite Stretton Boatyard. As we were making our approach we had a very brief chat with Sarah & Jim on Chertsey & Bakewell. Chertsey is looking very smart in her new livery, last time we saw her she was in Red Oxide.

It has been a very long day and in fact our longest cruising day this year so far. I have cooked dinner and we are now enjoying a coffee whilst catching up on e-mails etc. Tomorrow we will be heading for diesel at Wheaton Aston.

Chat soon xx

Monday, 27 February 2012

Restriction: Between Vernons Lane Bridge 22 and Tuttle Hill Bridge 23

Remember the other day I told you about a burnt out sunken boat. Well today I got an e-mail from British Waterways on the sunken boat.

Hi Jo

We are aware of this and there is a restriction posted on waterscape see below

Restriction: Between Vernons Lane Bridge 22 and Tuttle Hill Bridge 23

05 Jan 2012 until further notice

Associated Regional Office: Central Shires Waterways

Navigation is restricted due to a sunken craft which has drifted into the channel. The boat is approximately 300yards on the Coventry side of Bridge 23. Navigation is available towards the offside.

British Waterways are pursuing the owner to remove the craft as soon as possible and BW will continue to monitor the craft location to ensure navigation is maintained.

British Waterways apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

(Enquiries: 01827 252000)

The plastic orange buoys are there to warn traffic of the obstruction. We are in process of trying to get the owner of this boat to retrieve it but failing this BW will be recovering the boat sometime during March.


Liz Gibbs

Central Shires Waterway

Bridge 55, Kings Bromley to Roseford Bridge No.94, Staffs & Worcs canal, Acton Trussell.


Travelled 16.2 miles, worked 4 locks in a time of 6 hours 45 minutes.

Another great day's cruising in weather which was a little changeable. We started off at 7.50am with a dull start and yet feeling quite warm. Seeing the Rugeley cooling towers in the distance again meant we were not far from Rugeley.


Rugeley is a place we always remember with fondness, because it is where we got Paddy from The Border Collie Trust. We had no need to stop for shopping even through there were some moorings going, so we just kept going.


I stepped off the boat at Armitage Tinnel to check there was nothing coming in the opposite direction, the tunnel was frre for us to pass through, so I jumped back on board. Whilst we carried on cruising, I got the Shiny Sinks and Brasso out and began polishing the Brass, which had not been done for a good few weeks. I do love to see shiny Brass, so was a very happy girl when the portholes and roof brass were all clean and gleaming.


Rugeley Cooling Towers in all their glory.

Through Rugeley on the posts there were signs telling of death.


It is the first time I have seen these sort of signs, maybe they need to be dished out more along the system. At Brindley Bank we met another boat coming the other way on the tight bend, but with us all knowing what we were doing, it all went smoothly.

The next boat we met was at Colwich Lock, the boat had just exited the lock and had left one of the gates open for us. On a normal cruising day, you can find yourself queuing at Colwich.


We left the lock and headed towards Great Haywood and Shugborough Hall. There are some stunning views across the valley as you approach the Hall in all its glory.


I had thought that there were no moored boats, but as we got closer to Great Haywood Lock that soon changed, there were boats there, which looked like they had been there for sometime. As we approached the lock NB Beerfur was just entering the lock, so I stepped off the boat with the centre line, wound it round a bollard and walked up to the lock to help with the gates as the gentleman was single handing. As he went on his way, I set the lock for us.


We had no plan to stop at Great Haywood and that was just as well because above the lock the moorings were pretty busy with boats which once again look like they had been there for a while. These boats tend to be a give away because they have all their worldly goods stacked up on the towpath. As we approached the junction on to the Staffs and Worcs Canal, a boat was winding in the mouth of the junction and their was a boat waiting to come out of the junction.


We held back to allow the other boats to get themselves sorted out. Oh the joy of being back of being back on the Trent and Mersey Canal.


The sanitary station moorings were heaving with boats waiting to use the facilities.


At 11.50 am we turned on to the Staffs and Worcester Canal. I always enjoy heading on to Tixel Wide.


The wide looked beautiful as always and we were pleasantly surprised to see only three boats moored up, normally it is heaving even at this time of the year. Absent from the wide were the Great Crested Grebe, which is a little worrying, because the wildfowl on the wide has been disappearing over the years. I can only hope the Grebe were hiding. The only wildfowl on the wide were Canada Geese. At Tixall lock we came across 2 small boats starting up through the lock, so I once again took the centre line off and tied it to a mooring bollard. I then walked up to the lock to help the two boats through, who doubled up in the lock. The views across the valley are lovely as is the view of the River Sow. The noise of the railway does not bother us. By the time we approached Deptmore lock, the light rain started (I polished the brass) so once up through the lock we moored just pass Roseford Bridge No.94, near Acton Trussell, we have never moored here before, it is just deep enough for us. The one thing we have noticed is this whole stretch has seen a large scale tree and bush trimming, BW have been busy and it is very much appreciated by all boaters.

It has been another great cruising day, we drank lots of coffee and I made us lunch on the run, today it was hot cross buns and chocolate cake. All moored up we are now enjoying the warmth from the fires, we also have a great TV signal, so will settle in front of the TV later, on whilst having dinner and then a hot shower, before bedtime arrives once more.

Chat soon.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Amington Golf Course, Alvecote to Bridge No.55, Kings Bromley.

Map image


Travelled 16.2 miles, worked 5 locks in a time of 7 hours 45 minutes.

The sunset last night was lovely and so was the peace and quiet. In fact it was so quiet, I slept like a baby until Keith got up at 6am. As he was up, I suggested he make us a cuppa which we enjoyed in bed.


As the sun came up, there was a mist on the cut.

By 7.15am Paddy and I were off the boat and walking down the towpath.


The fires had been stoked and the smoke was filling the air.

7.55am we were off and running towards Glascote Locks.


The runner on the towpath clearly had more energy than I did to be running so early in the morning. Having done the two locks, we made our way to Fazeley Junction, where it looks like the building work has ground to a halt.


Either that or they are very tidy builders.


Sometimes a horse just has to have a roll.

We past through Hopwas, where there were plenty of walkers and cyclists about and on toward Whittington the home of the Poly Tunnel.


It will not be long before they will be full of ripe Strawberries.

We were between bridges 80 and 81 when I spotted NB Valerie.


Les and Jaqueline came out to greet us, and to ask if we would like a cuppa. Now who are we to refuse such a lovely request, so we pulled in at their bow and began to moor up, the “Northern Belle” part of the “Venice Simplon-Orient-Express” came past on the railway line not far from the moorings. Also coming past us was Historic Working Boat Victoria with Michael steering.


We had a quick chat as he went on his way to Napton, it is always lovely to see him and his fantastic smile. We joined Les and Jaqueline on Valerie and had a wonderful natter with them. It was so lovely to meet the lady who has put a smile on Les face. Jaqueline has made him a very happy man and has clearly embraced her new life on the cut.


Having spent an hour chatting away, Keith was eager to get underway again, so we said our goodbyes at 12.30pm and wished them both well for their Summers cruising. I am sure we will see them again at some point.

We got to Streethay Wharf and were hailed by Andrew off of NB Granny Buttons, who was moored at the wharf. He just wanted to say hello.


As we approached Fradley Junction at 2.15pm a young lad opened the swing bridge for us, which was very kind of him.

We said cheerio to the Coventry Canal and turned on to the Trent and Mersey Canal, where there were plenty of people walking, cycling and sitting outside of the The Swan pub.


We passed by Historic Working Boat Dove and I stepped off of the boat to work the locks. There were no moorings to be had at Fradley Junction, so we carried on to where we are now moored for the night. Since getting here, we have collected wood, and I got some coal out of the hold for the back cabin stove, which is cooking our dinner. It has been another long cruising day, but a satisfying one, having met up with people we know. Even though I keep harping on about needing rain, today's cruising was in lovely warm sunshine, Spring is coming I feel. I am now off to check dinner, peel potatoes and to feed mog and dog.

See you tomorrow x

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Old Bridge 26, North of Nuneaton to near Amington golf course, east of Alvecote marina.

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Travelled 10.6 miles, worked 11 locks in 5 hours 35 minutes.

I had a peaceful nights sleep and woke early completely refreshed, so was ready for the day ahead, which began with getting the back cabin stove fire going again, as it had been shut down over night, Paddy then got his walk along the towpath towards Valley Cruisers hire boat company, in the early morning sunshine. It had been a chilly night and I could still feel the chill in the air. When we got back to the boat, we all had breakfast including mog and dog, I then gathered some coal out of the hold for the back cabin fire.

With all the usual morning jobs done by 8.20am we were already for the off. We passed by Valley Cruisers and on past Hartshill BW yard. BW have been doing some pilling on the offside, where the bank had collapsed.


We seemed to be the only boat on the move.


We made it to the top of the Atherstone flight, I stepped off of the boat at the bridge 'ole to set the first lock, from then on all the way down to the eighth lock they were all against us. At the eighth lock we met a boat coming up and whilst they exited the lock, we had a quick chat. The rest of the flight was quiet and plenty of water to be had. At the bottom of the flight the Rover Anker converges with the canal from the east. As far as the eye can see it is Arable land and lots of Oak trees. We passed by Grendon dry dock.


It was then onward through Polesworth and Pooley Hall and Country Park. You really do get a feel for the past with all the spoil heaps, which are now scrub land and turned over to mother nature.


As we approached Alvecote Marina, I took yet another photograph of the remains of Alvecote Priory. I have lost count on how many photos I have taken of the Priory.


Our first thought was to moor up opposite The Samuel Barlow, but with only one mooring to be had and a fisherman on it, we decided to keep going.


We carried on a short distance to just before the pipeline bridge, and moored up opposite Amington Golf Course, where men were hitting balls around for fun in the afternoon sunshine.

Since mooring up it seems every man, woman and their dog are out either boating, walking or cycling. The sunshine has bought them all out. As I type this dinner is cooking in the back cabin stove, I am going to make a Chicken and Mushroom pie. Marmite is sitting on the step in the back cabin, Paddy is lying by my feet, the TV is on and both Keith and I feel it is time to put our feet up.

Chat soon x


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