Saturday, 18 September 2010

Gloucester 2010 - Worcester to Tardebigge

Worcester to Tardebigge
29 August 2010

16 miles - 55 locks - 10 hours

Yes - that's right, 55 locks. 14 more than my all time record with the hyperactive Mr Truth!

With time pressing we kicked around a few ideas about a possible destination for today's travels. The idea of moving all the way from Diglis Basin to the top of Tardebigge was bandied around for a while, till Belle pointed out that 14 more locks than my all time record was an awful lot - and 20 more than we had ever achieved as a family.

We therefore revised our objective and planned to moor at the Queens Head - just below the main flight.

Reed narrows at Hanbury

With this lesser objective agreed we set off at 9.30am, up the Offerton Locks by Worcester Warriors ground where we spied the stern of Nebulae ascending in front of us. They are a speedy pair with Chris whizzing ahead on his bike, but we held them in our sights all day, managing a quick hello at each lock.

Jeff gets a faceful

The canal narrows alarmingly at Hanbury, with the reeds reducing the navigation channel to single file. I Have heard BW explain this as an attractive feature of the canal but this feature is starting to become a bit over invasive. As we passed the Droitwich Junction canal we saw Brian and Diane from nb Harnser - off for a Sunday lunch at the Eagle and Sun. They had been following the blog and didn't appreciate that I was posting it rather retrospectively. It was therefore something of a surprise to see WB coming up the Worcester Birmingham when the blog suggested that we were still in Brentford!

Radio Tardebigge expands yet again

We realised we were making good time and as things were going we would be mooring at 4.30pm, which is a bit early given the time pressure we are under. So, after a short council of war we decided to "go for it". Tardebigge or bust. Its only a mere 30 locks.

More ariels than Hillmorton!

In the event it settled into a beautiful evening, just perfect for the long run up to the summit. Worcester and the Malverns emerged behind is and with three of us working the locks we arrived at the top lock in a very creditable 2.5 hours - knocking a full 30 minutes off our previous record.

Tardebigge flight

Tardebigge never seems as long as it really is, each lock separated by a short pound making lock wheeling really easy. What's more, the canal snakes around giving a variety of views but never offering an image of a daunting rise like Hatton or Caan Hill.

Tardebigge Reservoir

I am not sure we will be doing 55 locks in one day again anytime soon, but if it has to be done the Worcester Birmingham is the place to do it.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Glad you like my bike! Five pounds at the local recycling centre...We have been practising our locking skills, I think we are getting somewhere with it. It does not do to get too cocky as we can all make a dogs breakfast of things sometimes. From memory our log is showing something like 5,000 lock passages. Trouble is, the locks seemed easier to work when I was 30 years younger! Might see you on the Caldon. Chris & Marilyn.