Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Shropshire Union. Tyrley Wharf to Hurleston Junction

We had a nice surprise while we were at Tyrley; a hire boat came past us. This in itself is not a particularly remarkable occurrence - between Easter and October, come hell or high water and through rain or shine - a fairly unremitting stream of hire boats pass us all the time. Filled with families in matching life-jackets, cutlass wielding pirate crews, balloon strewn birthday parties or fairies with “L” plates on, they provide us with plenty of entertainment. They in turn are always pleased to see our efforts; the flowers and the tea cosy always bring a smile! However the hire boat that passed us at Tyrley wasn’t just any old hire boat. Six years ago, along with Dave’s sister Kate and her partner John, we had a fabulous week on Shadowfax, a brand new 60’ 6 berth semi-trad from Chas Harden Boats.
We took it from Beeston Wharf to Llangollen and back and loved every minute of it. It was on that trip that we made up our minds and decided that being water gypsies really was what we wanted, so when it drifted past our window at Tyrley there was much waving and taking of photos. We know how much hammer a hire boat can get in six years and for it to still look this good is a tribute to how well Chas looks after his fleet. The people on holiday on it seemed to be having a nicely chilled time.
Here’s something else that turned up.
That’s the new Canal & Rivers Trust Logo on the side of a new van. Dave had a chat with the BW (soon-to-be CRT) man who had come to check on the lock and clean out the weirs. Very positive attitude about the transfer; in his words, “Well, it can’t fail can it?” Which is good, as we weren’t sure how they’d feel about lots of volunteers invading their workplace.
Our good friends Wiltz & Annie came to visit for a very enjoyable couple of days and helped us down the locks to Audlum. Wiltz did a very competent steering job,
Ann-Marie & Annie did the gate pushing
and Dave went ahead setting locks. Like a well-oiled machine we arrived at the famous Shroppie Fly in the afternoon and tied up on the 5 day moorings outside the pub.
Sadly, we needed a secure mooring for a few days as we had to leave Legend and go to a funeral. Karen’s Father-in-Law John passed away, he was a lovely man and his family will miss him terribly. As always we came away feeling guilty that we only see half the people we know when we’re wearing black, but that’s probably the case for most of the population.
From Audlem we carried on up the Shroppie to Hurleston Junction where the Llangollen goes off up four narrow locks to the west. This is the view of the first lock from the boat,
and this is the view of the boat from the first lock.
As we went up the 4 narrow locks onto “The Welsh” the lock keeper asked Ann-Marie how Dave had managed to get her to give up a house and live on board, as he’d been trying to persuade his wife to do that for years. She told him that he’d just kept on swapping wives until he found one that would!
Misty morning on the Welsh just above Hurleston.

1 comment:

Secret Sheep said...

Excellent. You seem to be progressing nicely. Love the wife-swapping tale. Pete and I don't need to swap partners, as we'd both be happy to live on a boat. It's just the children we need to swap....