Open! 13th April

Wolverley Bridge to Stourton Top Lock, Stourbridge Canal

So, just as we finished our breakfast this morning this C&RT Notice dropped into our inbox!

cart notice

The notice says that the river was now open from the next lock down from Stourport to Worcester then closed from there for 17 miles to Upper Lode Lock. Hmm! What should we do?

If we turned round and headed back to Stourport the river there was almost certainly still going to be in the red at the locks today. We decided to give the Lockie at Lindcombe Lock a call. He chatted away to Mick. The flow was still quite strong but we would be able to navigate our way downstream to turn onto the Droitwich Canal, with care. But should we have carried on to Bevere Lock half a mile further south the Lock Keeper wouldn’t let us through to get to Worcester, as the levels were still too high. So either the C&RT notice was wrong or the Lockies on the ground were telling porkies! We decided to believe the chaps on the ground. He said that the level may have dropped enough by tomorrow to get to Worcester or it might take a couple more days, river levels are not an exact science.

Chilled Medication LockIt didn’t take us long to make our minds up. We were going to continue going the long way round, if the weather forecasts are correct and there will be little rain then the levels should be fine by the time we reach the river again and we won’t have got bored of twiddling our thumbs.

Last night we spent a bit of time trying to find a suitable place to meet up with Finesse on our route. Heading towards Stratford didn’t come up with anywhere suitable that we’d be able to reach comfortably, but heading towards Worcester gave us two options. So that was our route sorted. The next few days we have to keep up with our plan so as not to fall behind.

Straight on please

Debdale LockWe pushed off and soon had reached the next winding hole, we went straight ahead not wavering in our decision. The day was cold and grey again, damp hung in the air even though it didn’t rain.

Hyde Lock

This stretch will be filled with bluebells next month their lush green leaves appearing everywhere. On we climbed back up the locks we’d passed through three weeks ago. No one was ahead of us which made life easy, each lock sitting empty waiting for our arrival. It was too early for us to have chilled medication as we passed through Wolverely Lock, but I could see a young chap inside with a cone piled high with several scoops!

Air thick with insectsCitronella to clear the air

Today the air was filled with insects, gnats or mossies. At times it was hard to breath without inhaling them! We used to get asked if yellow attracted insects when we had Lillian, but it didn’t. Today dark blue most definitely did! Mick got so fed up with it that he lit a citronella candle and popped it in a guiding light to try to clear a small patch of air at the back of Oleanna.

A lovely mooringAfter Hyde Lock we pulled in, after the house, opposite the grassy field for lunch. A purrrrfect mooring this, if only they had let me out! Tilly eyed up the huge trees, we don’t believe that she’d only be an hour in such a place so she remained in lock down.

Stourton JunctionOn up Stewponey Lock and then a right onto the Stourbridge Canal. Up the four locks.

This will be a cascade of blue in a few weeksBetween the third and fourth locks houses back onto the canal each with immaculate gardens. Sadly the house with the Aubrietia that floods over the walls hasn’t as yet had enough sunshine. A couple of dots of blue, but not the cascade  that we’ve seen before.

Bully bird making ready to swoop at Tilly again

We soon found a suitable spot to pull in, away from too much traffic noise and not too close to Wordsley Junction. Tilly went straight out of course, only to get bullied by a local crow not too keen on her presence.

Tomorrow will be a standard day of climbing up into Birmingham. Plenty of locks ahead of us, at least we’re keeping busy!

DSCF7114sm10 locks, 6.77 miles, 1 right, 0 about turns, 1 lying C&RT notice, 1 Lockie chat, 0 chilled medication, 1 route planned and we’re sticking to it, 63763436378947364235272892927254 insects, 3 hours, 1 big black feathered bully, 2 many bikes, 4 muddy paws, 1 m mooring.

Severn River level at 9am today (at Bewdley a mile upstream from Stourport) 1.99m.