*****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.

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*****Stay safe and warm out there..*****

Monday, 20 June 2011

Kidderminster to Stourport-on-Severn.

Hi Folks.

A new week and a new challenge. We left Kidderminster along with Carol and Adrian on their NB Rypeck to head for Stourport-on-Severn. Carol and Adrian were moored behind us for a couple of days and we soon discovered that Adrian is the Harbour master at the Droitwich event, so were able to find out more details about the weekend and the mooring situation. They left about half an hour before us, so we did not see them again until we arrived in Strouport.
We said goodbye to Kidderminster and St Mary and All Saints church which was striking 9am as we entered the lock. The sun was shining and there was some real June warmth in the sun.
Exiting the lock chamber we passed under the main road into and out of Kidderminster, where the walls are covered with these amazing pieces of artwork organised by Rewyre (CLICK). It brightens the space and helps to encourage young people to look after their town.
We cruised passed what used to be an old carpet mill in the 1800's but is now Debenhams. Slingfield Mill is a Victorian worsted mill. The mill, with its boiler house and attached
chimney stack, are Grade II listed buildings and are all that remains of the early carpet making
industry in this area. Debenhams took over the mill, whilst Frankie and Benny's are in the boiler house. Thankfully it has all been tastefully done. During the 1940's the Slingfield complex has various uses during the war, including the use of the warehouse for storage of tobacco and the inclusion of air raid shelters into the main mill building, so over the years it has seen plenty of action and yet it is still standing.
We cruised past what used to be Pratt's Wharf, where you can just about see the disused lock that would have taken you down on to the River Stour. The bridge actually goes over the lock chamber, which has been filled in with rubble and rubbish which mother nature has covered with greenery. A work party did clear it some years ago, but time and mother nature have covered it up again. Years gone by narrowboats would of carried cargo between the old Stourport Railway Station and the Wilden Ironworks sited downstream on the river.
Just after Pratt's Wharf I spotted this Heron just about to devour its breakfast.
The stretch between Kidderminster and Strourport-on-Severn is very pretty in places, especially where you see the red sand stone. The photograph below was taken at Caldwell Lock.
What is a real shame is that the locks are all locked so you have to open the paddles with a key. You would think that out in the countryside the locks would be safe from idiots, but clearly not. There are some delightful views along this stretch of the canal. We did have a few boats coming towards us today, so we were hopeful of a mooring somewhere. Whilst we cruised I ducked down into the galley to make us coffee.
When we arrived at Stourport, we moored on the towpath above the lock and walked down into the basin to see if there would be a place for us in the basin itself. We walked into the BW office and were greeted by Graham, who we last saw 2 years ago, but he remembered us and the boat. He was so pleased to see us and immediately offered us a mooring in the basin. So whilst I worked the lock, Keith moved the boat down through the lock and into the mooring. We now have a lovely view of the basin and the Boat Club House with its clock tower.
Having eaten lunch we closed the boat up and headed off to walk up the river, which takes you past the Treasure Island Amusement park, with its funfair rides. (CLICK). There did not seem to be many children on the rides, but I guess it is still early in their season. having walked a long the river bank, we made our way back into the town.(CLICK). We finished up at the tearoom by the lock, which has changed hands recently. It used to be Goodnight Sweetheart Tea Rooms, with lots of memorabilia on the walls and shevles. Sadly all the memorabilia has gone and it is now just an ordinary tearoom named Blossoms, for me it has lost its charm. But I guess it is progress. The lady that now runs it said that the memorabilia was removed because it took to much dusting. The dust was what gave it charm and character but heyho that's life. I think like us many coming back to Stourport and visiting the tearoom will ask where is everything, so she may need to put a sign up saying "PLEASE DO NOT ASK".
On the lock side this darling duck lay soaking up the sunshine, with its natty hairdo.
Back at the boat, it was time to open all the windows and doors to let the heat out and the fresh air in.
This evening we will make use of the BW showers and tomorrow we may hook up to the electric, if we can get a card. The BW office does not sell them and the chandlery was closed, so we will need to run the generator instead.

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