Black Country Ring (plus a bit):
Stafford to Autherley Junction

12 & 13 June 2009

Mary at the tiller as we continue to ascend the Staffs & Worcs Canal

Lucy waits for the lock to fill

Crossing underneath the M6 motorway

Twin bridges at Penkridge allow the boat and pedestrian/horse to continue. This must have been very inconvenient for horse-drawn boats.

Above the lock, Lucy keeps an eye on things as we fill up with water

Lucy looks down into the lock, with Cannock Chase behind her

Alan at Gailey Lock, which raises us to the summit level.

 The roundhouse has a good shop and an excellent bookshop.

Merry prepares to take us out of Gailey Lock

Mary at the tiller as we approach Hatherton Marina

Looking up the Hatherton Branch of the Staffs & Worcester, largely derelict but with the first section in water for boat moorings

The Fox & Anchor is our destination tonight - good enough that we went there twice, meeting up here beforehand on Saturday

Saturday morning sees Lucy at the tiller taking Victoria through the rocky narrows

The canal was built narrow here because of the difficult band of rock that had to be blasted to create a channel.

Alan, Stephen and Sheila as we approach journey's end

Autherley Junction where we must turn right. Another boat from our boatyard is already waiting to use the lock that is immediately through the bridge, so we have a little wait.

The last heron of the holiday sits on the junction signpost.

Stephen steers Victoria around the junction into the stop-lock.

Total for a day and a short morning: 15 miles 6 furlongs including 12 locks

And so it was over. The weather was definitely not up to the standard of previous years, with only Friday being a t-shirt day and a lot of use being made of waterproofs. Nevertheless, it was once again a very enjoyable week. Where next?



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson