Gailey to Tixall
28th October 2010
13 Miles - 12 Locks - 7 Hours
Index for posts - Four Counties Ring and Caldon Canal 2010:
Post 1 - This post
Post 2 - Tixall to Hem Heath
Post 3 - Hem Heath to Leek
Post 4 - Etruria
Post 5 - Leek to Froghall
Post 6 - Leek
Post 7 - Down the Churnett Valley
Post 8 - Farce at Froghall Tunnel
Post 9 - Froghall Wharf
Post 10 - Back to Etruria
Post 11 - Etruria to Wheelock
Post 12 - Wheelock to Nantwich
Post 13 - Nantwich to Goldstone Wharf
Post 14 - Goldstone Wharf to Brewood
Post 15 - Brewood to Calf Heath
Evening arrivals at Calf Heath are quickly turning into something of a relay.
As we were unloading Jeff passed me his new super duper "no sucker is going to nick my bike this time" lock and the thought "hmm, his bike. I knew I had overlooked something". An hour later I returned, this time with his bike hanging safely on its rack.
We promptly settled down to a rather chilly night on Wand'ring Bark, awaking early with cold noses and a touch of frost on the roof.
We arrived to discover a rather delightful surprise. Chris and Maralyn of nb Nebulae know of my passion for old waterways books and had left a copy of the Lock Keepers Daughter on a sealed package under the cover. What a lovely piece of holiday reading.
We were off at 10.30 am, finding all the boats from Viking Afloat and Teddesley Boats out on hire for half term - effectively the last main cruising week of the season but leaving on last slot before the winter stoppages kick in on the 8th November. We paused in the Gailey lock chamber whilst I dashed into the adjoining bookshop to buy the 12th edition of Waterways Journal published by The National Boat Museum - more holiday reading alongside the December edition of Waterways World. Do you know what?, Waterways World has improved dramatically over the last year or so. Mr Denney's contribution is of course significant, but it goes beyond that. 10:10 Mr Fairhurst and team for whatever you are doing.
We paused for lunch at Penkridge and again at Midland Chandlers where we bought filters and grease ready for an end of season service. They are not cheap place to buy materials but they are convenient and hold an excellent range, backed by strong technical knowledge.
Deptmore cottage seems to be going through a gradual metamorphis these days. The old lady has gone and the builders have moved in, surrounding the area in fencing and the house is now going through the 'getting worse before it gets better' stage. I have a feeling that it will arise like a phoenix from the ashes and become a hugely desirable lock cottage.
We hauled into Tixall Wide in the gathering gloom, with the trees of Cannock Chase providing a spectacular backdrop. One of my favourite moorings.