Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cuttings & Embankments

Down through the lock and onto the wharf below the garage at bridge 19 where we put in 200 Ltrs. of diesel. £160 ish. Bargain. Should keep us warm for the rest of the autumn.
We cruised as far as the moorings on the Shebdon embankment on Monday, first passing over the great Shelmore embankment. A mile long, it took 5 1/2 years to complete and involved shifting millions of ton of earth. Soon after we entered the grub street cutting, with its much photographed bridge with a telegraph pole in the middle. I wonder if it has become a listed structure?
Tuesday saw more cuttings, the most impressive being Woodseaves, very narrow with rocky walls imposing on each side. It's staggering to think that all this along with the great embankments was all done by hand. No JCBs in those days.  Arriving at Market Drayton by early afternoon, the plan was to go out for lunch. First the Captain announced that he needed to go down the weed hatch as Oakapple didn't seem to be going to well. Half an hour later he had a pile of assorted rubbish on the towpath which included.plastic bags, assorted pieces of rope and a length of electric cable. Phew! No wonder she seemed sluggish. A relaxed afternoon in 'Spoons' saw the day out in fine style.
After a very wet night we set off this morning, quite cold but fine cruising. Aproaching Adderley locks we saw several cows that had strayed onto the towpath. Must have given the dog walkers a shock!
After working the five locks, it was less than a mile (just time to grab a coffee) before we started the descent of the Audlem flight. Warm work but very pretty with some very fierce bypass weirs. We moored up below the 11th lock early afternoon, leaving four more for the morning.
Strolled down to the 'Shroppie Fly' for a pint after a late lunch. The most interesting feature of this canalside pub is the bar which is built like a narrowboat.

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