We left Tixall promptly this morning (without spotting any kingfishers) and were soon at Great Haywood Junction which we passed through without incident, however at the next lock it was rush hour, there was a queue of seven boats waiting to go through which meant an hour’s wait.
These times are never really wasted as you get to chat with other boaters, and on this occasion the lockkeeper who was an interesting guy who had worked on the last commercial boats back in 1964 , he must have been just a lad in his late teens, if my sums are right, as he is just coming up to retirement though by his looks I would have put him younger!
Later today we went through Armitage Tunnel, another tunnel without a top as it was removed as late as 1971, You still have to send crew ahead to check the way is clear as it is so narrow, where were we before mobile phones? Just after that is the reason why the name Armitage may be familiar to you the Armitage Shanks factory producing, shall we say, bathroom ceramics?
Fradley Junction was negotiated with some delay as there was a queue wanting to turn right out of the Coventry Canal while we wanted to turn in there. We seemed to travel for ages before we found a decent mooring outside the Plough Inn, Huddlesford a total of 16½ miles and 5 locks, something of a record for us! We thought of going in for a meal but looked at the menu online and found it to be rather expensive so cooked ourselves fusilli pasta in a cheesy sauce with pan fried mushrooms and crispy bacon pieces, every bit as good and a whole lot cheaper!