Weybridge New Bridge to Pyrford Basin
What a wet start to the day. Mick managed to cycle to the shops first thing to get some gluten free crumpets. We had eggs to eat up and I had nothing to absorb the runny yolk. A loaf of bread was a possible but my sour dough starter is in need of waking up so in a days time I’ll have a homemade loaf, crumpets are a treat anyway.
He returned with some bacon to accompany the eggs. Then the rain set in.
Over the next few days we need to keep moving, my panto meeting next week necessitates being near public transport, so we couldn’t just sit the day out. We did however delay our start, hoping the rain would ease.
The solar panels had been needing a wipe down so with a constant shower provided by nature Mick tried out his new waterproof coat and gave them a good clean down. Mick sat catching up with the Tour de France coverage and Tilly sulked in her escape pod as I pottered away the morning.
There hadn’t been much scratching in Tilly’s pooh box this morning, so I was a bit surprised at an aroma that was building up. ‘Not me!’ ‘Nor me!’ said Mick, it certainly wasn’t me! Now our neighbours here might be posh driving their Porsche, but they could still pick up after their dogs!!!! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!! Mick had managed to pick up about a weeks worth on the bottom of his shoes, which was now deposited on the floor. Maybe the owner had been leaving it for their staff to pick up. Have to say one thing for the dog, it must be fed on something expensive as the aroma wasn’t as pungent as you’d expect from so much.
This then kept us busy for sometime, cleaning up. Thank goodness we don’t have a carpet!
The rain kept coming and in the end we decided that we’d risk Tilly going out for an hour. After twenty minutes it had stopped raining, time to go if I could get the cat back. One call out on the towpath and I got a reply, Tilly sprung out of the friendly cover and we could be on our way.
A short distance on is Town Lock. Ian had warned us yesterday to pull in just after the first bridge and walk up to the lock as it is at right angles to the channel. This we did and sure enough the lock was full with gates open. Here on the Wey you are asked to leave the gates open, both of them. So if the lock is set against you there is more to do especially as you have to walk round.
With the lock set and both gates open Mick brought Oleanna in. With the gates closed Mick passed the stern line up which I passed around the yellow stake and returned to him to tie off on the boat. I’d laid the bow rope on the roof with a loop to make it easy to get hold of and pulled Oleanna into the side and wrapped the rope around a bollard.
The Wey windlass has a long reach, making it easier to wind the paddles up, it does mean stretching somewhat though. I opened the paddle a bit and the plume of water came out. Oleanna stayed put so I opened it up some more, then more until it would go no further. The gear on these paddles is reminiscent of that on the Huddersfield broad it stays put magically until you start to wind it down, no visible break on them.
Once Oleanna was up at the top Mick was able to walk round to open up the off side gate as I dropped the paddle and set my rope on the roof for the next lock. It does feel odd leaving lock gates open.
Coxes Lock sits just past three fantastic mill buildings, Alexander Raby Mill, Daniel Lambert Mill and John Bunn Mill. These buildings have had a number of different uses through their 200 odd years. Foundry, flour mill even silk weaving for a time. Originally powered by a water wheel with a large mill pond, level with the lock, which was dug to alleviate the barges becoming grounded. This was superseded by steam and then electric. They have now been converted into apartments.
As Oleanna rose in the lock a boat headed down towards us. A cruiser moored on the lock landing had left enough room for them to tie up, but they decided to hover in the cut for the lock to be ready for them. This turned out to be Nb Huffler heading back down stream.
Marvelous we thought, the locks would now be sat waiting for us with open gates, but sadly this wasn’t the case, New Haw Lock sat with it’s gate very firmly shut. We reset it and worked our way up. This lock has had a new road bridge built over it’s bottom gates, necessitating the beams to be cranked, these are always hard to get moving and quite painful to push. The pretty lock cottage more than made up for this.
Just as we finished and were about to leave the chap from NB Ella appeared behind. I helped close a top gate and then hopped back on board before Oleanna was dragged towards a weir.
Up ahead we now had the crossing of all sorts. M25, railway and a canal junction. Each support to the motorway has been decorated, most with elaborate writing and one with a very good painting of a Sphynx cat, not my favourite I prefer my cats to have fur.
Then the Basingstoke Canal heads off to the west. We hope to be able to cruise up there, but water levels are bad as their supply is from springs not reservoirs or rivers. A phone call is needed before we go that way as the locks are only open on certain days and have to be booked in advance.
Then the railway, nearby is West Byfleet and New Haw station. Way back when I used to do work for a scenic company based here, my first job painting the Muppets Christmas Carol grotto that was to be at the Trocadero in London in 1992.
By now we were wanting to stop, as soon as we were a distance away from the motorway we tried pulling in, but had no luck. Further on just before the Anchor pub at Pyrford we tried again, here the water was deep enough. Soon after NB Ella pulled in leaving a good gap in front of us as they have a dog.
Blimey! They promised me a better outside, so many trees, some thin, some thick, others giantly big. Loads of friendly cover too. It was certainly heading towards having a Mrs Tilly stamp until a woofer came and spoilt it all. She said to Tom to pick me up, but I didn’t need that. When Tom came between me and the woofer I headed back towards the boat only to be followed at speed by said woofer! This happened several times. It stopped within swiping distance scared off by my huge tail and arched ridge back. No need to get the claws out, but it was a close thing!
This one is on the Wey and comes with a slipway for a small cruiser.
3 locks, 4.09 miles, 1 wet day, 2 outsides, 3 mills, 1 huge dollop of pooh, 1 very clean cabin floor, 10 groundplans completed, 3 muddy paw prints! 1 shady mooring we’d like next week.
£225,000 on Platts Eyot
£750,000 I suspect in need of a little TLC