Monday, 18 September 2017

Burston out of Stone

There’s some hope that the weather is going to improve and indeed it’s been a little better today. Sod’s Law being what it is, I expect the really good stuff will start as soon as we are back in the marina…

We’ve had a pleasant day, ambling down from Stone to the towpath near Burston. The water tank was getting empty and more laundry urgently needed doing – it’s been so hard to get things dry in the damp weather that it’s not been possible to get as much done as we need to. So we worked down the first two locks, Stone Top and Newcastle Road and, after waiting a little for the boat in front to finish and move off, tied on the water point.

Elanor took the opportunity to pop into town to do some shopping whilst I sorted the hose and Sheila started the wash load. Elanor was back waiting for us at Yard Lock by the time we’d finished, so it all came together very well. On we went down Yard and Star Locks and along the urban/rural pound to Aston. Here we had to wait for a boat to come down and another, crewed by a single hander, to come up. This latter was called Sir T Fiable and its steerer was plainly determined to live up to his boat’s name, in the nicest possible way, of course.

It is good that the cut still offers a space for the eccentrics amongst us, adding to the gaiety of nations as it does.

We had a further pleasant run to here, negotiating the always tricky Bridge 86 as we went. It's been possible to have the whirligig out this afternoon, long enough to get the clothes largely dry though it’s clouded over a bit now. This section of the Four Counties is very busy today. It’s an ever-popular ring, of course, made even more so by the emergency stoppage on the Marple flight putting the Cheshire Ring out of commission for the moment.

It’s hoped to re-open lock 15 there next Saturday but the movement in the lock wall looks quite serious and I foresee a long stoppage over the winter to sort it, quite possibly involving rebuilding the whole side of the lock and possibly part of the invert as well.

Meanwhile, we’ve got another straightforward day tomorrow, down Sandon, Weston and Hoo Mill to tie in Great Haywood.


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