After my disappointment at the beer in the Anchor I managed to talk Helen into helping wash the port side of the boat this morning. The sun was on the other side and as it was early there was no heat in it. With two of us it didn't take very long at all, and it made a big difference. However it made me think it needed polishing too.
We were off by 10:30 and passed the pub and on the straight. I boat spied us and pulled out quickly.
These poplar trees seem to be suffering and the leaves are really coming off quite quickly. The water is full of leaves and the 'fluff' from the Rosebay Willow Herb. I suppose that although the trees are by the canal I suppose that the clay puddling of the canal means that not too much water escapes through for them to use.
WE had passed a couple of boats coming our way, but when the canals were working there would have been a ton of coal loaded boats coming down from Cannock area pits and scattering hither and thither at the junction. I wonder if I will still be boating when they get the link open again?
The marina basin at the junction has an 'industrial' look about it. However looking on the maps it seems that it wasn't established until the 1970's so there would be no working boats by then.
The Staffordshire County Council's Energy Recovery Facility is run by Veolia and is in essence getting energy from burning waste. It opened in 2014. I quite like the building as it has a pleasing shape. It seems that all the handling goes on within the building so reducing, noise, dust, smell and visual harshness. The green roof seemed to be quite green. I wonder if they have to water it.
Just past the Veolia works is the Shenectardy works. I have poosted about this before, but it started out as a tar works before WWII and was taken over by the American company. There is no stopping or mooring in this stretch in case of trouble at the plant.
On the other side of the canal is a massive building that belongs to Gestamp. It is a Spanish company but has factories and office all over the world (China, Spain, Argentina, Thailand, Brazil, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Slovakia, USA and Hungary! They make car components and system. This factory opened in 2018 and has taken over from a much smaller one in Cannock. Apparently it too 43,000 tonnes of concrete and £50 million.
We stopped for water before the lock at Gailey. It was good to see that the round house has reopened for business. Helen got some cards and more importantly, ice creams!
Another gratuitous photo of the Round House, but really to get the nice flowers that Helen has cultivated this year. She has gone mainly for dahlias and they have come up trumps.
We seemed to meet a boat at each lock as we pottered on. The original plan was to aim for Acton Trussell, but we needed a few things and didn't need any urging to alter the plans. Otherton Lock (I think, but it may be Rodbaston Lock) is always like a Jacuzzi. There is always a bit of a chemical smell and there are always many bubbles in the lock. It just looks like a hot tub when you fill it. There must be something leeching out from somewhere near here as no of the other locks, up or down from here, have the same smell or bubbles.
Otherton Marina seems similar to the other at Hatherton Junction, but again it is a relatively modern one. It is nothing to do with the colliery basin that was a little further up the canal.
We found a spot to moor before the first lock and as it was before 16:00 we went in to town so that Helen could have a poke about the charity shops. I was promised a drink too, so I tagged along. We were going to go to the Star, that seems to be the one most speak off, and it is years since we have been in for a drink. However I noticed that the Horse and Jockey had been refurbished and had been acquired by Black Country Pubs last year. We like the way they 'do' there pubs and after a few poor results the last couple of pub visits we would be assured of a great range of beers too. They had their own range on and about 6 quest beers too, and a couple of draft ciders to. It was beautifully cool in inside too, so we were reluctant to leave, but we did.
After tea the heat finaly got to me and I went outside and started polishing the port side! I got a couple of metres done before I had to retreat as I was getting eaten alive.