Yarn Bombing. 9th June

Coxbank Visitor Moorings to Tyrley Visitor Moorings

Boats were coming up the locks behind us before we’d really got ourselves together. A couple pulled up in front of us pausing for breakfast, they had just come up the thick of the flight.

Almost to the top of Audlem

Two more of the Audlem flight to do, both had boats coming down and one arriving as we left making working them very easy. At the bottom of the two a lady walked up and chatted away, in her hand was a bag of crocheted flowers, she was a yarn bomber. This morning she’d checked she’d have enough flowers for each lock they’d pass through, crocheting keeps her arthritic hands moving.

By the top lock the cake stall was just being replenished for the day. A fantastic assortment of cakes then two small fridges one filled with pork pies and pasties. Mick had the required £3 for a pie, fresh from the bakers this morning the lady said as she brought out paper carrier bags filled with scones for cream teas.

Just restocked for the day

We decided to get the remaining lock flights done today, Adderley and Tyrley, leaving only Wheaton Aston and Autherley Stop Locks to do, so I’d be able to get on with panto again tomorrow.

Soon Adderley came into view, would we be so lucky here with boats coming down? After all the busyness of Audlem yesterday and this morning it suddenly felt as if we were the only boat in the world. Most chambers were empty, apart from one that had filled itself back up.

Not too supportive as a handrail

Into our rhythm of uphill narrow locks. I’d set the lock filling, wait until the boat was high enough for Mick to step off before walking up to the next lock to empty it and open the gates. Most of these locks I used to be able to kick/push open the bottom gates, reducing the number of times I’d have to walk round. However the handrail I’d need to grab onto to push the off side gate open was loose, unsecured at one end, unsafe for me to rely on it. I walked round. The next lock the gates were a touch too heavy, after recent back and calf muscle aches I decided I’d walk round this one too!

We pootled on to Market Drayton a mooring just after the water points gave us somewhere to stop for lunch out of the sunshine with a view of Betton Mill, THAT building where we’d talked at length to our first boat builders. Such a shame the building doesn’t seem to be used for anything.

Obligatory photo

Once fed and watered we were on our way again, entering the shaded cutting leading up to Tyrley Locks. Mick held back away from the most forceful of bywashes possibly on the Shropie whilst I walked up ahead and opened the bottom gates. A boat could be seen entering the third lock up, the second one in our favour.

Normally going up such locks, I go ahead to set the next chamber leaving Mick to close up behind, but this is not recommended at the bottom lock as there is a stone shelf lurking under the cloudy water. I opened the lock ahead and walked back to close the top gate behind us, much better than getting stuck on that shelf with the bywash sucking the boat towards it and the pressure of water coming down from above doing it’s best to push you further on it as well! All I need to say is, you really don’t want to be in that situation!

We met a couple of hire boats coming down and we were soon at the top of the flight.

Tyrley Wharf

The lovely buildings at Tyrley Wharf were lit wonderfully in the sunshine. The new owner of the end building owns the winding hole here, it’s one of those things on the Shropie. Over the last couple of months he has caused a lot of comments on social media as he won’t allow winding in his winding hole. First a sign went up. Then he positioned his boat in such a way to make it hard to wind and now there is also a rope across it. He is entitled to do this, but is really not making himself popular with other boaters. Rumours are that he also isn’t too keen on the locks being used after 5pm! Given time things will change, we hope.

Pulling in onto the visitor moorings the unwashed side of Oleanna presented itself. Oh dear!!! What a filthy boat. I set to with cloth bucket and water. Sadly this side was the side that got most of the sun when Oleanna was stranded in Goole during the Aire and Calder breach. The paint needs more than just a wash. To me that is a boy job, to Mick that is a job that should be put off for as long as humanly possible!

12 locks, 6.7 miles, 1 yarn bomber, 5 flowers, 1 empty workshop, 1 upside down 48hr mooring, 3 hours shore leave, 1 better cabin side, 1 bottle of polish sat collecting dust, 1 panto digs sorted.