from Stewponey to The Bratch
Leaving Stewponey this morning (and thanks to all my Facebook friends who suggested other equine based dishes ) we headed on up the Staffs & Worcs leaving the junction towards Birmingham on our right. This is a most pleasant stretch of canal and the weather was dull but dry… until we arrived at Hinksford Lock along with the rain.. we decided to stop and have a brew until the rain stopped, it didn’t, so we had an early lunch too passing up the chance of sampling the ‘Cracking Fish & Chip Shop’ at Swindon recommended by our Black Country friend yesterday!
The rain did soon stop and as we pressed on the sun came out as we reached the staircase locks at Botterham which exercised us a little, Catty certainly didn’t like them as the gates leaked and showered her in her cage in the bows, she yowled but there was nothing we could do until we rose up in the lock.
Our next and final challenge today was Bratch Locks which although not a staircase, have only a few feet between them. There are side ponds which take the water which empties from the upper lock. There is an interesting octagonal toll house and a helpful lockkeeper to make sure we get things right.
We stopped here for the night and Joy produced a superb Spaghetti Bolognese for tea after which we vegged out with a couple of episodes of Poirot on TV.