Wednesday, 6 October 2010


Day four of the autumn trip up the Shroppie
27th September 2010

Its strange how some days seem to acquire a bit of a theme to them.

Today it was all about Herons. These statesman like birds are a common sight on the canals, standing tall and still on the waters edge resplendent in what looks like a morning suit, carefully monitoring the water for the sign if a fish alarmed by the approach of the boat.

Today we saw loads of them, not just the same on wheeling along in front of us as is often the case. They became so frequent that I ended up leaving the camera on "sport " setting in the hope of capturing them in action. Seeing these birds and getting good photos are two completely different things.

The day started with an obligatory pilgrimage to Turners of Wheaton Aston.  I am probably telling you what you already know, but Turners accurately claim to sell "the cheapest diesel on the cut". Their secret is that as well as serving boaters they are a fully functioning agricultural engineering  business who sell oodles of red diesel to local farmers. This means that they buy in bulk and see boats as a useful niche market reached via a long hose down the embankment. They are also very flexible about declaration proportions and whilst they are very happy to supply me on a 60:40 basis, many local boats which move very little are able to declare much lower amounts of tax.

But for me Turners isn't all about cheap diesel. I just love the shop / office. If you ignore the computer out back its something out of a 1950's museum with it's eclectic mix of boating, motoring, agricultural and cycling paraphernalia. Where else could you buy Sturmey Archer gear cables, a gallon of "pump oil", a set of spark plugs and a narrowboat fender - all in a place little bigger than a garden shed? If you have never paused at Turners it is well worth a stop, even if you do no more than buy some long life milk and breathe in the heady atmosphere of decades past.


As we approached Autherley Junction we came across two boats, each with a "tender" which appeared to be filled with junk. One had proken down to the other was towing it. In the end you had one rather old and weary cruiser towing three others. A regular little flotilla.

Four boats - one engine

No comments: