Kinver to Wolverely Lock
Another sunny morning a bit of dew visible on the freshly mown lawn across the way (he started at 8am yesterday morning, old time 7am!).
Pootleing out through Kinver there are three houses on the off side. A boat the size of a day boat had just come past us and was now moored up outside the first one. Looking at maps we couldn’t see any road access to these properties, OS maps have a footpath marked. So anything large would need to be delivered by canal and certainly the pile of coal bags by the mooring backed this up.
On we pootled through the sun, spring is with us and today we saw our first duckling bobbing about rushing to catch flies. That is however the down side to the sun coming out and warming the world, the flies have also come out!
At Whittington Lock we waited as a boat ahead of us worked it’s way down and then we reset the lock and followed suit. Here the lock cottage sits right over the bywash, they seem to have had problems with damp as the outside of the brickwork looks as if it’s been covered in something a little like clingfilm in the past, this is now hanging loose in parts. A pretty setting despite the sewage works across the way.
The boat in front had pulled in just short of Debdale Lock so we were no longer following them, we still had to reset the lock. Alongside the lock chamber is a sandstone cliff, in which has been carved out a large room. This is the first lock that hasn’t had a very handy bridge across the bottom gates. There is one but it is more a footpath and you have to walk down the towpath, climb over a style before you can get to it. The bottom gates do have a plank on them to cross there, but only the gate paddle mechanisms to cling onto leaving a big gap in the middle. I don’t jump from gate to gate anyway, so the trip round to open them was a long one. Mick tried with the boat hook to close the offside gate once Oleanna was out of the chamber, but these locks are so deep and the lock beams very new so there was little to push against before there was no space left. So another walk round was required.
A mile further on and we reached the moorings that we’d thought were in Kinver. There was the lock, the bench to eat chilled medication on, the river and crazy golf, we had reached Wolverely. We pulled in and had some lunch, Mick partaking of a pork pie bought in Kinver, not one to rival a Vermeulen’s pie. Then under orders from Bridget (NB Blackbird) we walked up to the Old Smithy Tearoom for some chilled medication. This was far superior to yesterdays, Mick had Toffee Fudge and mine had so much chocolate in it, yum!
We walked into the village, which Bridget had described in a message this morning as a hamlet. This had worried me slightly and wondered if it would be similar to Owd Nells up on the Lancaster Canal. But luckily Wolverely is a proper hamlet, not fake.
A brook drifts through the village, a line of pretty cottages sits beside it. A large pub and village store at the centre. I suspect the bakery may have been part of the village store which sadly had already closed for the day, so we couldn’t look round there. As we walked to have a look up the hill we both did a double take at a building that jumped out at us. Now housing we were looking at what had been Sebright Grammar School, very smart indeed. The school is now further up the hill along a road carved through the sandstone. It was kicking out time for the kids and the pub car park was full of waiting parents.
The villages around here seem to like to have their churches as close to God as possible. High up on a hill over looking its flock sits St John the Baptist. We followed the winding road up to the main entrance passing houses that have been built from sandstone blocks, bricks and all sorts, lumpy bumpy houses.
Inside the red church is quite simple, although a balcony runs round all three sides. We had a good look round and then perused the grave yard. This went on for what felt like miles. Surly the village wasn’t big enough to have had this many people!
We then followed the footpath back down the cliff, cut deep into the sand stone. At the bottom the Sleepy Hollow cottage was for sale with it’s own Man Cave £330,000. Further round the village a bigger property is for sale for far more (Link). Think we’d prefer the first one if anyone is feeling generous.
2 locks, 4.1 miles, 3 roadless houses, 1 runabout boat, 1st ducklings, 1 large lockside cave, 1 lock moved several miles, 2 chilled medications, 2 schools, 1 loo in view, 1 pretty hamlet, 2.5 hours of tree climbing and river jumping, it’s good this canal.