Last night's mooring at George Billington Lock was very quiet. The area is very popular with fishermen, several of whom stayed overnight, mostly in tents although there was also one motorhome. One even had a special little tent for an elaborate looking camping stove.
When Bruce and Sheila visited the other day, they diagnosed our troublesome macerator loo as being scaled up. As we haven't been to a chandlery, we haven't been able to get their recommended LeeSan descaler. But we did find something called Killrock-K at Robert Dyas in Stratford, so we thought we try it. Before going to bed last night we put a whole bottle down the loo, making sure that plenty went into the macerator unit. This morning, the loo is much more powerful, so we'll put that down as a success.
First thing this morning we moved across to the water point, and filled the tank while we had breakfast. It was an exceptionally fast tap, so we were brim full in no time. Then it was into the lock and off down the river. The next lock was Evesham, which still has its distinctive lock keeper's house, even though it was badly damaged in the floods, and is due to be demolished. If I remember correctly, the proposed repacement was deemed to be too ordinary and the planners demanded something better.
There's no lock keeper at Evesham any more, but a woman who lives on a boat there came and looked at our licence, and commented that we were the boat who'd had the wrong expiry date put on it. Obviously the towpath telegraph is working well. Evesham itself looked nice, with plenty of moorings along a park.
The next two locks, Chadbury and Fladbury both had mills alongside. Fladbury was particularly pretty. The channel below the lock is extremely narrow.
Along the next stretch we put the washing machine on for the first time, which involves using the TravelPack to provide enough electricity. Fortunately, both worked well. There are some very tight turns on the approach to Wyre Piddle (including a sharp sweep round Tiddle Widdle Island), before Wyre Lock. This one is a very strange shape.
We arrived at Pershore at lunchtime, and Adrian did a good turn in the channel so we could moor into the stream next to a playing field. As we're a day ahead of schedule, we considered a run down to Gloucester, but there are spring tides at the moment which make the Severn tidal up to Upper Lode Lock, near Tewkesbury. Adrian rang the lock keepers at Gloucester and Upper Lode to ask about timings, and they really don't work, so we'll have to leave that trip for another day.
Instead, we decided to stay where we were. It's a nice spot (although the boat is being bombarded by juvenile conkers being blown off the horse chestnut tree next to us by the gusty wind), and the park has been busy with grandparents and grandchildren feeding the scores of ducks. We walked into town to find an Asda just a few hundred yards away, and a high street full of independent shops, including two hardware stores and an ironmongers. There are some very pretty houses, and the Abbey, which was closed today because the BBC was filming items for Songs of Praise.
Back at the boat, Adrian wired the loo tank warning light back up (it had been left after rewiring the loo a few weeks ago) which required another walk to the ironmongers, while I used another Bruce and Sheila recommendation, Shiny Sinks, to tackle our brass. It's fantastic stuff, which shifts the grime really well. You still need to use Brasso to get a proper shine, but the boat looks a lot better. I've done the mushrooms, the pumpout and rinse points, fairleads, the tunnel light and horn. The Houdini hatch I think will take several hours on its own, so that's for another day.
15 miles, 5 locks. (77 miles, 97 locks)