Sunday, 30 January 2011

A short haul to Bratch and a walk to Wombourne

A late morning set-off yesterday down the 3 locks to Bratch
 Awbridge Lock must surely be the loveliest lock of the canals ...
 ... it's so unusual with its original walkway ...
... George traversing it to close the other gate ...
 ... those steps for easy access to and from the boat ...
 ... and so to our moorings above the lock - this is the distant view from the galley window.
 This afternoon George and I with Molly set out to stretch our legs - Bratch Top Lock and the well preserved lock cottage - obviously no longer in BW's ownership.
 Bratch village from the top lock
 Looking down the next two locks which almost appear to be a staircase
 just in case you're confused 'R' is on the left .... and 'L' is on the ..... right .. Right? 
 very well maintained throughout.
 a roller would probably have fitted between the two eyelets that you can see here for the horse's rope to flow across over the turnover bridge ...
 ... the deep scoring in the brickwork from those ropes ...
 ... and also in the iron-work protecting the wall ...
 ... the steps are original but the railings are in keeping ... you may just be able to discern the rope markings in the upright in the middle of the steps.
 The hexagonal toll house.
 Clear instructions given for using the locks.
 How may hundreds of feet made these dips in the steps and how long ago ... what stories they could tell .... I wish I could hear them.
 looking down those steps to the boaters access
 and yet more rope marks above the steps.
 the bottom pound and weir (where the overflow of water from the locks gathers as the locks are emptied)
 the boaters access
 first moving boat we've seen in ages!
 We decided to walk into Wombourne - this is the Water Board building with its very interesting architecture
 you can see the machinery inside the upper windows - and those tiles - beautiful!
 Is this a mast conspiring to be a tree, or a tree conspiring to be a mast?
 Onto the long disused railway walk, the station is now a cafe.
 The railway line ran under these big arches ...
 .... which now carry the traffic...
 ... and were cut deep into the sandstone.
 We now turn left onto Wom Brook Walk ...
  ...with its fantastic carved signpost ...
... and another carving round the corner.
 ... the sun on the catkins is a sight to behold.
 I've not been to Wombourne before, it really is a nice place centred as it is around the cricket field ..
 Maypole street has a maypole of course! ...
 ... and a very smart well kept church and grounds ... the white building in front of the church is the ...
 Wombourne Institute - I like its moto -' Let's go hand in hand together, not one before another'
 Even the stregtheners in the church tower are decorative.
 Walkers' Way, so let's walk ...
 ... very pretty!
 doesn't look much like it now though.
 a lovely row of old houses.
and back to Rock n Roll and a very dramatic sunset - another great day.


  1. I just love those pics of the old parts of the canal system still there to tell a story and show life of 20 yrs back.
    The last 3 words of your blog post says it all about boating. "another great day"

  2. Thanks Les, I think that this is the prettiest canal we've travelled so far and are thoroughly enjoying it.
    I have been following your blog since you've been feeling up to posting again and have been deeply mooved by yours and Jaqueline's (USA)corresponence. It is clear that you think a lot of each other and both very excited about your imminent visit to see her there. You have both been through some very tough times and I'm sure that you have both come through even better people. Have a good journey and holiday/vacation; we will look forward to seeing some pictures of the two of you together. Stay safe.