Monday, 12 June 2017

Farewell to Kinver, Hello Ducks!

Monday 12th June 2017 at Wolverley.
A cool overcast day. We popped briefly into Kinver for milk, fruit juice, some more of the butcher's brilliant "middle-cut" bacon and, of course, had a coffee - in yet another tea room.
This one had a lovely garden at the back with what looked like a gothic folly but was in fact built for the Chelsea Flower Show some years ago, purchased after the show by the owner of the café and re-erected in the garden. It looked very authentic!
It was with some regret that we left our mooring in the countryside. As we approached Hyde lock, we passed a beautiful house that had once been the manager's house for a large cast iron works.
Today, it is surrounded by trees and green spaces but it was not always so. A picture from the end of the 1800s shows it as it was, set in the middle of the iron works with the canal running across in front of it. R climbed up into the field opposite the house to get a similar view as shown below.
Hard to believe we were looking at the same view. It never ceases to amaze how quickly nature reclaims any space that is left untended. In just 100 years it is as if the iron works never existed.
M tried not to look at Hyde Lock House as we went through the lock!
After Kinver, the next lock is that at Whittington. This pretty house was once a nail factory, again it is hard to reconcile this lovely house with such an industry. There is a strong history of nail making in this area.
At Austcliff, the sandstone rock overhangs the canal on a sharp bend. The overhang used to be even bigger but had to be cut back as it was in danger of falling.
There are a lot of  "park homes" in this area, mainly very well looked after and well landscaped. These were unusual in having an old railway signal gantry in the middle, although there is no mention of an old railway nearby on the maps. 
Little Cookley tunnel is interesting in that the houses seem to be perched precariously above it.
Debdale lock must be one of the most attractive and interesting locks on the waterways. It was carved out of the sandstone and a large cavern was excavated into the cliff beside it, apparently once used as overnight stabling for the towing horses. It is big enough inside to house several horses.
It is also a very deep lock, so MM looks small inside it!
Our evening mooring was just above Wolverley lock, where we attracted the interest of a small family of ducks who watched us as we moored up.
When R produced some bread he really got their attention!
Today: 5 miles, 4 locks and 4.3 hours (inc. power).
Trip: 49 miles, 38 locks and 32.3 hours.

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