Setting off from Oxley on Saturday morning the Captain had decided to turn left and head up the Shropshire Union to Nantwich and beyond; if we’d carried on up the Staffs and Worcester we’d have had a short stretch we’d never been on before, then ended up at Great Heywood on the Trent & Mersey, which is familiar territory indeed. There was a rather longer stretch of the Shroppie that we hadn’t done: from Brewood to the end of Woodseaves Cutting, and beyond that we’d only been once. So after negotiating the junction and the stop lock (a level change of – ooh – at least three inches, but still taking ages) we ended up partaking of lunch in Brewood.
Moored somewhere under this load of flower baskets is an actual narrowboat. SWMBO was very impressed and keen to try something similar. The Captain had words.
There’s some odd places in Brewood…
…and some very nice ones. Fran was all set to move into this cottage.
The (bottom part) of the Shropshire Union was one of Thomas Telford’s masterpieces, and unlike most other canals, it majors on long straight sections, avoiding locks unless absolutely necessary. Which means large chunks of said straight sections are either in deep cuttings or high embankments (both of which caused Telford grief). It’s also quite wide as canals go, so has quite an odd feel after the Staffs and Worcester, traversing mainly fairly remote rural areas.
Anyway, you can cover quite a lot of ground, and after lunch we carried on and did just that, ending up just past Wheaton Aston and the first proper lock for the day, mooring right beside an old WWII airfield in the peace and quiet.