Moving north past the boring Rugeley section, a town famous for ignoring the canal and a mass murdering doctor in Victorian times way before Dr Shipman, we came to Colwich lock. Normally there has been 6 or 8 boats waiting here but today in the rain we only had 1 in front of us.
A view across to Shugborough Hall where in the summer they hold open air concerts and you can’t get a mooring for love or money for the free show.
Above the lock is the short stretch to Great Haywood. It was here last year that there was nearly a very serious incident. As we pass today there is only the stump of the tree part way across the cut but last year it was a different story
At 04.10 am a large tree suddenly fell and by a miracle just missed a small fibreglass cabin cruiser with an elderly couple on board. Amazingly it fell between 2 boats but a side branch hit ther criusre. If it had been moored 6 ft further up the cut they would have certainly been killed.
It took BW staff until 14.00 to cut back the tree having had to bring the work boat 3 hours up the cut first.
The work was extremely hard and they made a great job of clearing the canal for traffic again. We did note that the old couple had turned around and gone back the way they came before the work was complete, probably a bit shaken up by the experience.
As we passed the area this year it was good to see that they now have also felled the other trees that were leaning over at a dangerous angle
Approaching Great Haywood Junction. Straight on for Stone and Stoke on Trent and turn left for the Staffs and Worcester canal to Stourport. We turned left for a short trip to Tixall Wide for a couple of nights
Above Great Haywood lock with the tea rooms to the left.
A small former toll house put to a new use.
Reflections at Tixall
Sunset over Tixall