About Me

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After thirty years of hiring, I finally bought my own 50ft boat in 2005, which was built in 2001 by Andicraft at Debdale Wharf. I mostly cruise single handed and have no problem with that, although it does take a little longer than with a crew. My mooring is on the Wey Navigation, so I have a choice of routes on the Wey or the Thames.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Grand Canal Tour 2014. Out of Worcester and into Droitwich.

Some explanation here as to why there are so many breaks in publishing this blog. The first is that having bought a new camera with 4mb pics, I had to find some way of reducing the size for publishing. I am very grateful to Sue of No Problem for help in resolving this. The other reason is that in Droitwich there was no signal, which was extremely frustrating, having sorted out the first one. Now I have just discovered that having written this blog with pics, the photos are not published! I am now at the point of throwing the whole lot into the cut!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to do some essential food shopping in the town, before a third attempt at resealing the Houdini hatch, which was still letting in the rain in little drips. I set off in the afternoon with the intention of coming back to the Severn via the restored Droitwich barge canal.

All went well up the 14 single locks, which were no problem to a 40 a day man (locks of course)! Arriving at Tibberton moorings about 7pm for a visit to the two pubs; ‘Speed The Plough’ and ‘The Bridge’, neither really worth a mention, except that the first one did Bathams bitter.

On to Hanbury Junction to turn into the Droitwich, where I encountered three locks straight away, but with a CRT volunteer to help me through, followed by another one at the two lock staircase – easy peasy so far then, but I had not reckoned on the M5 tunnel, which was extremely low, though not very long.
Unusual to see side ponds in use.
A square cill?
Not much headroom here.
On the other side I came across a boater who was rebuilding his boat after coming through, replacing his disassembled cratch and top boxes. Then it was straight into Vines Park, Droitwich, which had three manually operated swing bridges and one over the first lock. Hopefully, I opened just one gate of the now double lock, hoping to get through, but the gates would not swing into the recess, so I had to open both eventually, as well as the swing bridge. The padlock on the gate was so tight I had to push the bridge hard closed from the other side before I could remove it. The others were much the same, though one bridge was permanently open.
First lock with swing bridge.
And another one!
The centre of the salt industry from very early...........
...........up till 1922.

 All this done with an audience of gongoozlers in the park. As I came around the next bend, there were the visitor mooring pontoons arranged in a small marina type basin – truly palatial, with a water point, lockable gate and space for 15 boats. Obviously, Droitwich welcomes boaters. I reversed alongside a pontoon and was helped by another boater to moor up, before more shopping across the road at Waitrose. Spoilt for choice, there is a Morrisons as well apparently.
Plenty of space in July!

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