Saturday, 17 August 2013

Norbury Junction and Gnosall Heath

Yesterday evening we visited the Anchor Inn with Peter and Margaret.  Apparently it’s one of the last traditional boatmen style pubs.  It doesn’t serve food and looks like a two storey house with the front lower two rooms for patrons and the foyer is the bar. The pub has been in the same family for more than 100 years and, until recently, the ‘real ale’ was brought from the cellar in a jug and poured into glasses.  I had my first pint of real ale in a decade and nursed it all evening.  I can see this will be an acquired taste!  Jan ordered a pint of cider, but couldn’t finish it.

It bucketed down during the night but we woke to a light drizzle.  It was acceptable boating weather so we pushed on to Norbury Junction with nb Kelly-Louise.  Along the way we passed what must be the most photographed bridge on the network.  Both of us remembered it from our Four Counties holiday in 2003.

The telegraph pole is still fixed to the top of the lower arch.  I wonder if it’s the original or regularly gets replaced?

Marian (nb Duxllandyn) had emailed to say Duxllandyn was moored at Norbury Wharf and Jan spotted it just as I was focussing on entering the bridge hole.

Sorry we missed you both!

The location of the wharf pump-out point required me to reverse back on an angle and I was rather pleased with myself being able to complete the manoeuvre without using the bow thruster!  It took quite some time to empty the tank, partially because of the condition of the pump and partially because of the size of Waiouru’s tank.  I was very pleased with the thoroughness of the pump-out.  When it was complete the tip of the rudder was four inches above the water.   The pump-out cost £18 without ‘blue’.

Norbury Wharf

Whilst Jan was paying for the pump-out I noticed a boat arrive on the water point.  The colour scheme looked very familiar and my guess that it was John & Ali on nb Triskaideka was correct.  There was only time for a quick greeting before they were off and we moved Waiouru onto the same water point to top up the tank.

I was packing up the water hose when I discovered a stowaway in the cratch.

Not sure how they sneaked in but with a gentle flick they went into the cut.

The sun had decided to put in an appearance so we decided to continue cruising to Gosnall Heath for lunch.  somewhere along the way we hit a very narrow section and (of course) met a boat coming from the opposite direction.  Fortunately our side (the towpath) was clear of overhanging vegetation so it was the other boat that ended up in the trees.

He also had to squeeze past Kelly-Louise!

Making the most of the fine weather we went for a short circular walk around the village stopping at the shops where Margaret updated her pantry supplies.

The Boat Inn at Gosnall Heath

We managed to avoid some boating confusion as we departed Gosnall Heath but Peter and Margaret were not so fortunate.  We both managed to get through the bridge hole prior to the boat coming in the opposite direction.  He stopped but the hire boat behind him was travelling too fast and got into all sorts of difficulty when he put the boat into full reverse. 

Eventually Peter was able to get around him.  I hope the lesson will be remembered.

Shortly after leaving Gosnall Heath we entered Cowley Tunnel.  It’s only 74 metres long but cut through solid rock. 

I’ve been attempting to organise the delivery of our Home Office and UKBA mail using the Post Restante service.  It’s been quite a frustrating exercise which I’ll blog about at a later date.  Sufficed to say…… I think it just might be organised!

We’re now moored at Wheaton Aston

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