Thursday, 10 May 2018

The third Stour

We've been to Stourport, Stourton (twice) and now Stourbridge this year. Pearson's guide reckons that the stretch from Stourton top to Wordsley Junction is one of the best in the country and I think we have to agree with him. We got away at eight and were soon working up the four locks of the Stourton flight. They are typical BCN locks, very like the ones on the Staffs and Worcs, indeed, but with the ground paddle gear sloping back slightly and no offside ground paddle, so that the lock is easy to work from one side.

Despite the lack of one paddle, the locks fill quickly, especially once the level has risen high enough to open the gate paddle. It all went pretty smoothly and an hour later we were chugging along the pound that leads to Wordsley Junction and the Stourbridge Town Arm. Much of that length passes through sloping wooded areas, feeling very rural despite the close approach of the town, which makes itself felt as soon as you are on the Arm.

I made a bit of a malted milk drink of the tricky turn at the junction, not helped by a fisherman sitting on the lock landing for the Stourbridge bottom lock and so right where I needed to swing the boat's stern. Despite frantic signalling from Sheila in the bow, I clouted the offside coping a right whang. It was later discovered that everything had fallen over in the bathroom cupboard (not the worst level of impact on the Napier scale, which runs from "toothbrush lands in basin" at the minimum to "all the galley cupboard doors fly open and there's stuff all over the floor" at the worst.)

Half an hour saw us at the end of the arm and winding in the quite tight hole opposite the Bonded Warehouse. We've tied on the visitor moorings by the park, from which we went shopping straight away. We didn't even stop for coffee, figuring that it would be quicker to get one in Costa.

Which it would have been if our visit hadn't coincided with break time in the local college, so the place was crowded out. It's quite tricky to find your way to the town centre if you don't know it. The answer is to turn right at the end of Canal Street, go through the underpass and up into Lower High Street. A bit further up there is the Tesco Extra where we got some shopping done.

Back at the boat, we put it all away and then had a belated lunch. This afternoon has seen me do the needed email about GDPR to the entire Braidbar Owners' Group, asking for renewed consent to process their personal data.

We then turned to and brushed the roof followed by cleaning bird poo off it. Since then, we've been indulging in some deserved relaxation.

Tomorrow, back down to Stourton Junction and up to Gothersley for the night.

No comments: