Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Monday 10th September

Had a quiet trip up to Colwich Lock where we met a boat coming down and then on to Great Haywood lock where we were the third boat waiting to go up. Had a good chat with the other boat owners one of which has wheel steering which he told me was fine once you had got used to it. He uses the tiller however, if there is any serious manoeuvring to be done.
Once through the lock we headed for the services where there were already 3 boats waiting to fill up. The two hotel boats, Duke and Duchess were almost full so we breasted up against another boat and waited for them to finish. As we left the water point Nb Levick rolled up for water with a couple of other boats. Angela and Michael said that they would join us on Tixal Wide if there was room for us both to moor.
We reversed up and turned onto the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal towards Tixall as we neared the Wide we passed the old stables on the hillside.

* Stables
A little further along we entered the Wide and initially thought that there was no room but then spotted a nice spot next to a gap in the hedge row and moored up.

* Entrance to Tixall Wide.
Tixall Wide is more like a lake than a canal and it is believed to have been built to enhance the view from Tixall House which sadly is no longer here. When we were here 6/7 years ago it was teaming with wild life but there was very little this year.
One of the boaters said that they thought it was the two swans who roamed the area who had killed off most of the most of the competition.
Indeed the swans were quite aggressive and would not be moved from their spot on the towpath when boats tried to moor.

* Swans won’t be Moved
No sooner had we moored up than the boats on either side of us moved off so when Nb Levick joined us they were able to moor easily.

* View from our window of Tixall Gate House across the Wide
After lunch I walked Phoenix back into Great Haywood to get June a paper and noted that the fish monger was open on Tuesdays and Fridays with fresh fish.

We were invited to Nb Levick for afternoon tea which developed into G & T’s, beer, and wine as we enjoyed the chat and reminiscing about past narrow boating experiences including their journeys from Sharpness to Bristol and Liverpool to Ellesmere Port across the Mersey.
Later Buddy and Phoenix enjoyed a good play together on the bank.

Tuseday 11th September

Walked into Great Haywood and purchased some dressed Crab from the fish monger and some lovely fresh picked tomatoes, fresh baked pork pie and scones from the Canal Farm shop.
As we passed the water point on our return journey, Marion and Nev on Nb Marrick pulled up for water and we stopped to chat. It turned out to be Marion’s birthday (won’t say how old) so we wished her happy birthday and hoped that she had a nice evening moored up in Stone.
Back at the boat we found the Wide to be almost deserted as most of the boats had now left, what a difference from yesterday.
We set to polishing the port side of the boat and as we did so a lady came by walking two Labradors. It turned out that she had been a Puppy Walker but had had to stop because Guide Dogs would not let her take them on her narrowboat. She was most surprised to find out that we had taken our pups on boats for several years without problem. With all the people now living on boats I am sure there must be a Guide Dog owner who lives on a boat; and it is a great training experience for the pups.
Later in the afternoon we took Phoenix a walk up to Tixall Lock and when we returned most of the mooring spaces had been filled.

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