Thursday, 10 July 2014


We think we’re back in Shropshire.  This morning Jan put on a load of laundry whilst I walked to the nearby Morrisons supermarket for her magazines.  Readers she may not get breakfast in bed, (neither do I) but when necessary, I will walk to the shops for her weekly magazines. We were moored at Autherley Junction and the location of the supermarket can be seen on the following map.

Supermarket at the top and junction at the bottom

Jan prepared Waiouru whilst I disposed of the rubbish in the CRT facilities at the junction.  We then moved off turning into the stop lock where Jan worked Waiouru through the 6” fall in water levels.  A boat was just moving off the water point beyond the stop lock which was a good start to the day.  Although the tank was three quarters full it still took over 30 minutes to fill.  During that time a hire boat arrived behind us with the crew looking for water.  Then another boat appeared from the opposite direction also looking for the water point.  It was starting to get busy.  Jan was having a good old chat to the lady from the second boat (as you do) and then the tank was full and it was time to go.  That’s when the lady recognized our boat name and as we pulled away mentioned she reads this blog.  Damned amazing that anyone would spend their valuable time reading this rubbish!

Anyway, nice to meet you June and Ray on nb Jura Reve.

We headed north passing under the M54 watching the traffic rumble overhead.  Suddenly I was inspired to take a photo of the comparison in transport modes.  Jan then compounded the situation by suggesting I take the photo with a truck lorry on the bridge.  Bloody hell!  Steer the boat with my bum whilst using both hands and my one eye waiting for a lorry to appear. 

Thank god the canal is wide otherwise I’d have been a nervous wreck!

Halfway to Brewood (pronounced Brood….. I read other people’s blogs!) we dropped down to ‘tick over’ to pass a moored boat.  Jan called out “Good morning” to the man on the stern who looked at us and said gruffly “In a hurry then!”  I was tempted to ask if he’d like me to pass in reverse but life is too short to bother with these trivial matters.

We found a vacant mooring in the cutting at Brewood and with the sun putting in an appearance through the trees I decided to get a second coat of red paint onto the cockpit handrails whilst Jan hung the clean laundry in the cratch.  I’m trialling a new painting technique in an effort to avoid brush marks.  It’s call applying the paint thicker!

No surprisingly there is no satellite reception but the roof aerial is managing to get us a mobile phone/internet signal.

Jan had been reading that Camillia’s son (the wife of that well known fellow with the jug ears) had mentioned there was a very good butcher in Brewood.  We’ve been here on three previous occasions and not seen a butcher in the village.  Time to go exploring! 

As we walked up the towpath towards the village I couldn’t help it notice the steel reinforcing rods and plates that have been fitted to the bridge over the canal.

They are around the arch along with several in the western abutment.  It’s a busy road and I assume the walls of the bridge were starting to bow under the load.  The engineers have fitted the rods through the bridge to pin it together.

We did find the butcher, W Maiden & Son.  The location is on the following map.

Three previous visits to Brewood and we hadn’t noticed it <sigh>.

The business was established in 1946 which means it’s not all that old when you’re our age. Smile

After looking in the front window we had already decided on a shop made large pork pie and a large steak & kidney pie (dinner).  Inside, Jan started to browse around.

The proprietor realised Jan had a strange accent (she’s from Bournemouth) and asked where she was from, “Bournemouth!”  “But you’ve been somewhere since?”  He said.  When Jan told him she had lived in New Zealand he mentioned the female shop assistant had lived in NZ.  The lady appeared from the rear of the shop and told us she had been born and raised in Brewood but had lived in Auckland, NZ for 17 years returning to Brewood in the mid 80’s. Her three children still live in that part of the world.

Jan then decided to buy some of the butcher’s dry cured bacon and six honey and mustard sausages.  She still has some ‘Braunston Bangers’ in the freezer and it will be interesting to find out whether these sausages are as nice.

We were wandering back to the boat with our purchases when Jan noticed the following worn front door steps.

Years of use?  It also reminded her of stories about women scrubbing their front doorsteps every day.  I’m a kiwi, all our front steps were timber, and they got replaced when badly worn!  Of course NZ is prone to earthquakes, which is a good reason for building in timber rather than brick or stone.  

We had the steak & kidney pie for dinner and I can confirm it was tasty!  Unlike some of the other pies we have eaten it contained chunks of steak and kidney rather than a gravy porridge!


Adam said...

You're not in Shropshire, you're in Staffordshire. Heading north, you won't be in Shropshire until half a mile after Bridge 47, beyond Knighton.

Tom and Jan said...

Help.... we're lost! :-)

Davidss said...

Re stone steps.
I think the 'scrubbing every day / every week' habit may well depend on the neighbourhood pollution (coal mining areas, soot from factory chimneys, etc).
Other uses for stone steps included sharpening knives, normally kitchen knives, but I suppose any knife will suffice.
The other point to look out for is where the lower edge of the stone curves upwards, the space being filled with concrete / cement / mortar. This isn't some cunning construction technique to key the stone in place of course, it's where a worn stone has been turned over to present the originally flat underside for use.

Yep, I read your rubbish too!!

Narrowboat QISMA said...

That butcher told me he can recognise the boaters because we all look so relaxed! Relaxed or relieved to get on the moorings!

Tom and Jan said...

I recall climbing the steps in the spire of Salisbury Cathedral in 1984 and noticing the "fresh" stone inserts that had been cut into what must have been very worn steps. I don't think this was caused by the monks sharpening their knives :-)

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jan,
He did seem rather envious that we had retired and he was still working. That's when I mentioned he'd got his planning wrong :-)