Geeses Goosing. 24th September

Swivel Bridge 108 to Stone Bottom Lock winding hole, Trent and Mersey

Great Haywood Junction ahead

I left Mick to push off by himself this morning as I walked up to the junction of the Staffordshire and Worcester with the Trent and Mersey Canal. Just round the bend was a little green boat, bunting up, signs out, Kay was setting up to trade over the weekend.

Kay on NB Pea Green has had a busy summer teaming up with another boat from Napton, NB Corridor, and has cruised from Welford on the Leicester Section, up to the Shropie and then has carried on up to Ellesmere Port on her own, doing pop up shops at weekends. I met Kay via Instagram a few years back, today was the second time we’d met face to face, but there was still plenty to talk about.

Kay paints and sells canal ware and other things with traditional roses and castles. Being a painter I can appreciate the skill and technique that goes into her work, a Bucky Can can take ten days to paint. But Kay also has two Master Degrees in History, her love of the past sings out in her Instagram posts and blogs during the winter.

Kay on Pea Green

We had a great catch up as she set up her shop for the days trading. When someone came to talk Buckby Cans I slid away leaving her to it, by which time Mick had turned left at the junction and managed to slot straight onto the water point as another boat pulled away.

Which way?

Mick headed to the Elsan with the yellow water as the other water tank filled. I disposed of the rubbish in the bins. Last time I’d been around the bins I’d just returned from Stafford Hospital with a boot and crutches for my broken ankle, the Margees helped out that day by moving Lillian to and from the services and then demonstrating their skills on crutches. Today the aroma from the pump out machine was still toe curling!

Northward bound

Boats came past, came out from the junction, some wanting water others a mooring, plenty of space in front of Kay. We pushed off again leaving the water point queue to sort itself out behind us.

Hello Percy

As we passed Great Haywood Marina we spied NB Percy who’s here for a short stint for blacking and a survey. Soon we reached Hoo Mill Lock. One boat was waiting to go up another to come down, I helped them both then it was our turn. Some serious pruning has been going on around the lock.

On the Ingestre Visitor Moorings there was a boat with crochet stars around its bow doors and filled with woolly sunflowers. Maybe this is where the hearts on lock beams come from, fresh ones at the locks today.

Someone has created several tree houses further up which look in better nick than the showman’s caravan.

Joining the queue

We joined the back of a queue at Weston Lock and I went up to help. With no boats waiting above we left a ten second gap for one to appear around the bend before closing the top gate to drop the lock ready for the next boat. By the time it was our turn another boat was waiting behind us. The Four Counties Ring seems to be more popular in the anti clockwise direction at the moment.

Buzzy buzz buzz

Bees were being busy both in the hedgerows and at their hives. Ivy flowers seem to be very popular with them at the moment, all the hedges are are buzzing!

Dramatic colours

Dark clouds, green fields and sunshine make for dramatic views at this time of year, we were quite glad that no rain followed.

Salt Bridge and a check on Dante as we passed on our way to Sandon Lock. At the lock a green fence now sits on top of the little wall by the bottom gates, this was cordoned off for ages but now looks neat and tidy.

Gaggling gaggles

Being back on the Trent and Mersey Canal means Canadian Geese, they always seem to swarm round this canal. Fields were full of them bickering, we suggested that maybe they should just ‘Go home and stop stealing our geese’s goosing!’

Approaching Aston Marina, soon to be the new home of NB Winding Down, the bow of another Carefree Shareboat came out from the exit. They disturbed a gaggle of geese as they turned towards Stone and the entrance to the marina. They must have been to fill with diesel and have a pump out and were now returning to their mooring, Aston Marina is one way with the services in the middle.

Aston Lock with the half way mile marker between Preston Brook and Shardlow. The little hut just over the wall is still one of my favourite things on the T&M. I’d quite like to live in there with the fire going.

My Little hut

Approaching Stone I hopped off to walk ahead to spy for moorings. Nothing available on the first stretch, I called back to Mick suggesting pulling in at the end of the moored boats whilst I walked on towards Star Lock in case. Nothing was free up that end so we’d be the end boat for the night. Tilly was quite happy about this as there was a good selection of trees. She was a bit miffed at only being allowed an hour and a half though!

4 locks, 9.62 miles, 1 left, 1 long chat, 1 Monty inside, 1 full water tank, 1 empty wee tank, 1 stinking service point, 1 constant queue, 1 duck with 4 legs, 2 many geese, 1 Dante, 1 cow, 0 spaces.

2 thoughts on “Geeses Goosing. 24th September

  1. Kath

    Those are Ivy Mining Bees Pip. Incomers, only been in this country for 20 years and spreading further north every year.they are solitary bees but like to nest in large groups.
    Kath (nb Herbie)

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