Wednesday 2nd September
We started our day with a visit to Penkridge Market to buy some provisions, veg, pies and blackpudding. Joy bought herself a new jigsaw puzzle at a stall where she was able to trade in one she had recently done, what a good idea!!
After walking back to the boat we made a quick getaway as rain was predicted for the afternoon. Our contingency plan was to moor up at Radford Bridge about 2 pm near the Radford Bank Inn near Stafford, in the event the rain never came to much which was just as well as there were no moorings available.
We decided to press on and the sun came out for us too as we passed through the beautiful Tixall Wide.
At Great Haywood Junction where we refilled the water tank and again there was no room at the visitor moorings so as it was still fine we cruised another hour to Wolseley Bridge where we slotted in nicely.
Thursday 3rd September
Since Great Heywood there seems to have been many more boats on the move, perhaps people returning from an extended Bank Holiday break or maybe they’ve noticed the weather is turning cooler too.
This morning was no exception with quite a few boats on the move before we were up, and just as we untied a boat appeared through the bridge, I pulled back in and he called out that he wouldn’t hold us up for long as he was stopping for fuel. That was a coincidence as that was our plan too, the fuel boat Dexta was about 10 minutes away on it’s mooring at Taft Wharf Farm and there was a queue, but it was worth it at their base price of 60p/litre.
Lunchtime found us in Rugeley where we saw nb Jubilee but the Halfies were not aboard, we stopped for a quick shop at Morrison’s and then we were underway again eating lunch at the tiller. Eventually we were past Rugeley Power Station and out into the countryside before reaching the Former Armitage Tunnel where Joy walked ahead to check the single width section was clear. Fortuitously she met someone walking the other way and they agreed that we should go through first.
We needed to turn right at the junction, before the last Fradley lock and the lock keeper had a simple method of letting his colleague know so he didn’t prepare the next lock unnecessarily; just hang a big sign on the handrail.
A kind boater opened the swing bridge for us and there on the other side was a mooring waiting for us. Ten miles today in 6 hours including the stops, so we treated ourselves to a burger and a pint at the Swan Inn (aka The Mucky Duck) right on the junction.