We left Wightwick yesterday morning to make our way onto the 'Shroppie' at Autherley junction. Just as the Captain lined up Oakapple for the turn under the bridge and into the stop lock there appeared a coal boat coming out. After a bit of juggling we managed to exchange places and into the lock we went. It is only six inches deep but maintains the difference in levels between the two canals.
A mile up the canal is the home of the Wolverhampton Boat Club where we hoped to catch up with Kevin & Julie who we spent time with on the River Avon earlier in the year. We found Mystique 111 on her mooring but no signs of life. As we cruised past their club house we heard calling from the bank and saw frantic waving. Finding somewhere to stop we walked back and had a chat. Seems that there was a party in the offing, arranged for a friends 65th. birthday. We were lucky enough to be invited along, and, never ones to turn down a party, duly turned up at 7.30
It was a great party, with a 60s theme. Kev. provided the disco with music and film clips to maintain the atmosphere. We even managed to win a raffle prize, almost unknown for us. Thanks for including us. A great evening and a lovely surprise.
We only intended to travel as far as Wheaton Aston today as we intend to fill up with diesel at bridge 19, tomorrow. After getting our heads round the clock changes, we got here by lunch time and are ready for a quiet afternoon. One of the features of the 'Shroppie' is the protective plates on the bridges, all showing the grooves made by the ropes of generations of horse boats.
I always jokingly refer to these as authenticity plates and claim they are only there for effect. The Captain, on the other hand, insists they are real. You will have to make up your own mind!!!