Friday 19th July
It didn’t cool down at all last night so another early start to get through the Tyrley lock flight in relative coolth. The first thing I did was to drag Jannock through the bridge hole on the centre rope to get a water fill. Brian Holmes (who used to do a column on Narrowboatworld) was there painting the water posts. We last met him a few years back as he followed us up the Aylesbury Arm and I back-set all the locks for him as he’s a single hander. As a member of S.U.C.S. he has done a wonderful job painting all the fixtures and fittings on the Shroppie as he travels along on his cerise steel cruiser Thursday’s Child.
He assured us that Pheonix (of the bow wave debacle yesterday) is a hire boat that operates out of Norbury. That’s a relief although it is not sign-written as such and so no one is able to give the extra consideration and help due to new crews. Also the lack of sign-writing meant that we were unable to ring and report the degree of ineptitude and near vandalism that was being displayed by their hirer. Hmmmmm!
We had ascended Tyrley locks by 9:30 and went into the wonderfully cool cutting beyond. A couple of recent rockfalls and landslips were evident but only once did we ground on the results in the cut. The effects of the by-washes when you try and ascend all of the locks in the Audlum, Adderley and Tyrley flights has convinced us that it best to traverse the Shroppie from South to North and return via the T&M. The air has been scented with lime blossom (always bringing Brenda fond memories of her mum) and honeysuckle.
12:30 found us mooring up under a nice shady tree conveniently close the the Anchor at High Offley – rude not to really ;^) 14:10 saw us leaving the pub, returning to Jannock to sit out the rest of the heat under said shady tree, after having a pleasant drink in the garden. There was us, a couple who had been boating since 1976 and the local fender maker who’d been a working boatman. Very interesting conversation. the ex-boatman was telling us how a group of them got a bus from Croxley Mill to see the film ‘the Bargee’ when it first came out in the 60s. It appears that they enjoyed the story and the acting but barracking the screen was the order of the evening due to the inaccuracies the film contained.
The Anchor opens most lunchtimes and after 7pm in the evening. The landlady has been there 35 years, alone as her husband died some 30 years ago and she is 80 next year. Definitely worth a visit as it is a very unique place to drink.
By 4pm we had set off again, down through Norbury Junction and Gnosall Heath to moor for the night near bridge 25 at High Onn.