Saturday, 3 June 2017

Along the Staffs & Worcs Summit Pound.

Saturday 3rd June, 2017 at Compton.
The morning dawned dry, if a little cloudy.
M had gathered a pretty bunch of wild flowers on her walk yesterday and set about making sure that she knew what each one was.
We set off quite early through Brick Kiln lock and then Gailey lock.
Gailey is famous for its "Round House" that used to be a toll house, but is now a canalside shop run for many years by Eileen Lester, now well into her eighties. We were delighted to see her still there and she very kindly consented to a photograph, although she said that she doesn't like having her photograph taken (just like M!).
We rewarded ourselves with a Magnum Classic each.
Gailey will always have a special place in our hearts as it was here that we moored up on our first ever night together on a hired narrowboat on 17th April 2010; we had hired nb "Emma" from Napton Narrowboats at Autherley Junction. To our delight, shortly after leaving Gailey, we passed "Emma" going in the opposite direction and still looking beautiful.
Next stop was Autherley Junction, where we we moored up and walked in to the offices of Napton Narrowboats.
Over the years, we have become friendly with Peter and Annie, who run the hire base at Autherley. Our timing was good as they had just completed their eight turnarounds for the day, so they were able to sit and chat and very kindly offered us a very welcome cup of tea. Business is brisk this year they said, which is good to hear.
After leaving them, we continued south for a while to get a few more miles under our belts. This 11 mile stretch of the Staffs & Worcs is the summit pound of the canal, which means that all the locks from Great Haywood to here are going up, and all the locks from here right down to Stourport and the River Severn will be going down. We passed the junction with the Wolverhampton flight of locks - 21 locks that lead up towards the centre of Birmingham; a flight that we have not tackled yet as the last time we were here they were closed for emergency maintenance. But we intend to do them one day!
Our evening mooring was at Compton in a very pretty wooded area next to a nature reserve. A quiet rural oasis just a stone's throw from the vast conurbations of Tettenhall and Wolverhampton.
Today: 11 miles, 2 locks and 4.3 hours.
Trip: 32 miles, 15 locks and 15.3 hours.

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