It was cool again when we got up on Sunday morning and once again we pretty much had the canal to ourselves as we headed back to the moorings. Things were pretty quiet at Norbury Junction but I’m quite sure that behind the scenes in the cafe things were already ramping up.
We got to the top of Tyrley Locks and there seemed to be some boats moving round but no-one seemed to be really sure what they were doing, so we held back for a few minutes until people actually worked out what they were doing.
Progress down the locks wasn’t as fast as it could have been as there were some boats coming up who, although they were private boats, didn’t really seem to know how to work locks or lock wheel.
Below the locks all was quiet again and we turned in the winding hole and then backed into the mooring.
After a pleasant evening in the William Chesters and The Red Lion where we shared a single shot of the Tiki Fire Rum (a mere 75.5% alcohol) we got up to a rather cool and misty Saturday morning
We checked the oil and coolant on the engine and started it and, whilst we let it warm up a bit, we re-filled the water tank and reconnected the water pump and let the calorifier fill up.
Once that was done we cast off and headed south.
For once the overflows on Tyrley Locks weren’t overwhelming and so you didn’t need to take a run up to the lock in an attempt to get in without hitting the sides.
Tyrley Bottom Lock No 7 is, I think, the most photogenic of the flight and always gives off this impression that you are miles and miles away from anywhere.
We made pretty good time up to the top lock where we noticed that the house just after the wharf was for sale and so we spent a bit of time, on fairly poor internet connections, trying to find it on line. We did and we were quite surprised at how cheap it was.
They’d been doing a lot of work in Woodseaves Cutting – mainly clearing back the trees to try to stabilise the cutting sides. The cutting always looks a lot more desolate in spring than it does in the summer and the piles of chipped tree trunks just made it look even more desolate.
Surprisingly we didn’t meet many boats on the move at all and we arrived at Norbury Junction round about lunch time so we got some fuel put in and pushed over and moored outside the pub and went in for a couple of pints of beer. As this was just the spring shakedown cruise we weren’t in a hurry so we took our time over our beer before heading off south again until we got to High Onn Wharf where we winded and then moored up so we could walk into Church Eaton to visit The Royal Oak which is run by Woods Brewery and had all three of their regular beers and, and all were in fine form. It’s a bit of a hike down a country road from the canal to the village but the pub really makes it worth it.
We really had to drag ourselves back to the boat so we could make it back to Gnosall where we ate in The Navigation Inn before heading down into the village to visit George and the Dragon which really has to be one of he best micro pubs around.