Friday, 21 September 2012

Two boats to Droitwich

Our choice of eating place for last night turned out to be excellent.  The Steps House is a pub with a restaurant, and the food was very good, as well as being good value: £10 for two courses.  Phoenix, the guide dog puppy being walked by Bob and June from Autumn Myst was well behaved, but chewed through her lead!

This morning, we went down York Road Lock, and both Autumn Myst and Chance filled with water.  The clock on the Clock Warehouse was striking 9am as Chance entered the top lock of the two staircases, and we quickly worked both boats down.  The two sets of staircase locks are well out of alignment, making the transition from one to the other quite tricky.

 We made rapid progress down the Severn, going through two of the big Severn Locks.

Soon we were at the start of the Droitwich Barge Canal, which has double locks.

There are eight locks, in total, but the pounds in between are very reedy and narrow.

Once the locks are out of the way, there are several miles into Drotiwich itself.  Bob invited me to take the tiller of Autumn Myst, and it would have been rude to refuse.  The canal has some very dramatic turns, and some narrow sections.  Soon we arrived at the basin in Drotwich, and I spun the boat to reverse onto a pontoon, alongside Chance.

Sue from No Problem was there to meet us, and provided us with very welcome cups of tea.  Later, we walked into town, where many of the buildings are very wonky, thanks to subsidence due to the salt extraction.

In the park, there's a statue of St Richard of Droitwich, who apparently made the brine run again after the stream had dried up.  It turns out he's a familiar figure to us, as he was also Bishop of Chichester.

We've identified a pub for dinner tonight; Sue and Vic are joining us, so there will be seven of us and Phoenix, who needs to get used to pubs, restaurants, and shops.

14 miles, 15 locks.  (18 miles, 17 locks)

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