We were a little late setting off as we spent the best part of an hour applying for tickets for the Radio Big Bash, or some such thing, that is at Burton Constable Hall, near Hull. Needless to say I shall not be utilising any of them! Just after getting underway we stopped for water.
Norbury Junction still gives the impression of a bust junction despite the Newport Branch Canal being closed. There are loads of permanent moorings and a bust boat yard and cafe, with day boats for hire too.
This is the Grub Street cutting iconic photo of the double arched bridge with the telegraph pole in the middle surviving. It is one of those changes to our landscape that is rarely mentioned as most railways, and many roads had these telegraph poles running along them with the cable wires and later telephone wires on them.
The Anchor In is an old boaters pub. The only beer they sell is Wadsworth 6X and this is brought to the bar in a jug from out the back. The last time we went I remember the beer as almost undrinkable and I reckon they maybe make as much money from the memorabilia they sell out of the back.
The next point of interest on the way north is the Cadbury wharf. In 1911 they built a factory here where they processed the milk collected from up and down the canal, and brought by boat, with cocoa and sugar to make raw chocolate. This was then taken down to Bournville to finish off. All this was carried out by canal boats of their own fleet. It finished in 1961 but the factory is now one that packs things such as custard and beverages and looks quite busy.
On this stretch there are good views of the Clee and Breidden Hills and the Wrekin
Woodsheeves Cutting gave the czanal builders a real problem due to the frequent slips that happened, then, and even today. It must have a very special microclimate as it is damp the whole time as little light will get in. Looking at the cliff of fern, moss and other plants you could be in a valley in a rainforest.
At least somebody seems to be enjoying themselves.
Tyrley Wharf was built for the Peatswood Estate and was also used for the Cadbury fleet. The buildings were built in 1837 and make a lovely set of working buildings that set off the lock. Amy and Joe were working through the locks.
Helen look quite sexy in a over dressed sort of way was helping me work the locks.
Joe took over at the helm and soon had his eye in threading the boat into the lock.
It looks like I will have a fight on my hands to get anywhere near the tiller for the rest of the week.
We managed to squeeze in to the last mooring space before the bridge. As we moored the boat in front asked if they could borrow so WD40 as they were having trouble turning their new lock in the key. They later asked if I would have a try. I went along and annoyingly I took the key out of the lock, put it back in and turned and the door easily opened. I bet they were fed up after that. We then walked in to Market Drayton for a bit of shopping. This is the Buttercross and I remember that the market was very good. I think that more shops are open now than a few years ago when we last passed through.
We also wended our way to the Red Lion, the brewery tap of the Joule's brewery. The pale ale was up to scratch so I tried one of the seasonal beers 'Salopian Hop'. It was pretty good I must say as although full of hops it was not overpoweringly citrus but had other tastes too. As we watched the food being brought out we changed our plans and decided to eat out here tonight.