Sunday, 4 October 2015

A change to the cruising plan

There was time for a last look around Kinver before continuing our cruise up the Staffs & Worcs Canal.  The village clock tower looks nice but probably isn’t all that old.  I think it’s also the main bus stop.


There were some interesting small shops down a side alley but we didn’t explore them because Jan had noticed the nearby butcher and adjacent wool shop. 


Water pressure from the tap above Kinver Lock seemed good but topping up the tank appeared to take ages.  We then cruised at tick over passing a long line of residential boats moored between Kinver and Hyde.locks.  Jan loved the front gate to the old lock keeper’s cottage at Hyde Lock.


Around the next bend was Dunsley Tunnel.  Neither of us remember the tunnel from our last trip this way almost a decade ago.  But then it was done in a rush!


On the southern side it looks to be cut through the local red sandstone and is unlined.  Halfway through it becomes a brick lined arch.

Stourton Junction is just beyond Stewpony Lock where there is a former Toll House beside the lock. 


On the other side of the lock is one of those circular entrances to the lock bywash.


At Stourton Junction the Stourbridge Canal joins the Staffs & Worcs.  We were here last year coming down the Stourbridge Canal from Birmingham and turning right to go up the Staffs & Worcs.  This time we have decided to go up the Stourbridge Canal back into the Black Country.

There are four locks at the bottom of the Stourbridge Canal and Jan quickly realised the water level was very low in the pound above the bottom lock.  I went forward and ran some more water down, but not too much as the next pound was also low.  Waiouru actually ran aground in the second pound forcing Jan to run down more water.


Just enough to crawl into the lock!

Above the lock the canal is mostly rural to Wordsley Junction where it then becomes very urban.  Beyond the junction are the 16 locks of the Stourbridge Flight.  We hadn’t see a moving boat all day and the majority of the locks appeared to have drained overnight so that made our passage up the flight easier than expected.


We decided to call it a day above the locks at Leys Junction.  Later in the evening I walked to the end of the Fens Branch.  Our mooring is surrounded by barbed wire topped high fences and the sounds of light industry working 24/7. 

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