After wandering around the town, we settled down for the night and listened to some music before going to bed. We had visited the funfair but were surprised to see that there was virtually no one there, strange for a fine Friday evening in August.
We were up and on our way for half past seven, dropping down through the lock into the basin where we carried out all of the services. By the time we had moved on to the narrow staircase locks, a volunteer lock keeper had arrived and helped our passage down and out on to the Severn.
The sun was shining as we pulled out on to the wide river and headed south, it was a magnificent feeling as Caxton found the deep water, exactly the same as when we took our first boat, Phoenix III out on the Soar and then the Trent.
The locks on the Severn are huge and being manned, all that was required from us was to put a stern line around a vertical wire and wait for the lock to empty and the gates to open. We passed through three such locks on our journey down to Worcester and since there is no need to slow for bends, bridges or moored boats, we completed the trip in just four and a half hours (including the thirty minutes on the services at Stourport).
We found a good mooring by the racecourse, paid our mooring fee (£4.00) and walked into town where we had lunch and did some shopping before returning to the boat. Since then we have just been sitting in the cratch, enjoying the sunshine, watching boats passing and being cooled by the breeze from the river.
Sue is happy, Leicester City are top of the league!
Well, we made it to Stourport on Severn, also known as Birmingham on Sea. After a week afloat, mostly through they county of Staffordshire, we crossed into Worcestershire and tied up near the Black Star pub.
Our day began with us setting off just before seven o’clock and It was another hour before we encountered another boat on the move, at a bridge of course. We carried on and eventually reached Cookley tunnel where the canal passes under a row of houses. Next up was Debdale lock which has a sort of cave cut Into the rock next to it, an old stable apparently. There’s something wrong with the levels here and one of the ground paddles is jammed open. With the lock still draining, Sue alerted me to the fact that Caxton was stuck on the bottom. My initial reaction was to run a bit of water in but obviously that just made it impossible to open the bottom gates. In the end we muddled through and escaped the clutches of Debdale lock.
We later bumped into Graham Booth, a regular contributor to Waterways World magazine and whose boat we had passed a little while earlier. Graham recognised the boat and is a friend of Joe & Lesley, we had a brief chat about boats and blogs before Graham carried on walking his dogs along the towpath.
We continued our descent through Kidderminster and saw a black steam engine in LMS livery running light (engine only) across the viaduct over the canal. At Falling Sands lock, Sue was talking to three ladies who were out on a canalside walk. They mentioned that they had noticed that it always seemed to be men driving the boats while the women worked the locks. As Sue explained that very often this was because the women didn’t want to drive, a man cycled along the towpath between them. As he passed me he said, with a cheeky grin, “L Plates, that’s what they need!”. It made me laugh but I’m not sure what would have happened had the group of four females heard him and then got hold of him!
We reached Stourport by half past twelve and secured a good mooring above the lock which leads into the basins. After showering, we took the short walk to the river where we had lunch in the Angel. It is a year and two weeks since we “discovered” the town by car and whilst having lunch at the same location, vowed to return by boat and here we are. Click Here
After lunch, we wandered through the town and did some shopping before returning to Caxton where we had home made Chicken curry for dinner. Tonight, a visit to the funfair, tomorrow all the fun of the river.
We went to Stourport-on-Severn today for the first time ever but by car, not by boat. What a fabulous place! The town had the feel of a seaside resort about it without having a seafront. So for me at least, being in a compact area on a hot sunny summer’s day with a canal, some canal basins, a river, a funfair with traditional rides and a Wetherspoons, I thought that I had died and gone to heaven. I knew that I hadn’t because there was no sign of a sausage roll tree anywhere. No more text, just a few pictures.