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Month: August 2017

O U O S V A V V

O U O S V A V V

In the course of the past year the National Trust has completely buggered up Shugborough. This is typical of the mayhem they have wrought. They have taken a beautiful period room and filled it with packing cases, because before cardboard boxes things were shipped in packing cases. Look, we know that. These are not even antique packing cases. They are modern reproduction packing cases, good only for kindling. Then there’s the idea of putting Patrick Lichfield’s photographic equipment in front…

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Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special

Paula spotted a blue plaque on an otherwise nondescript cottage in Great Haywood. So I have to ask, why were there no canals in Middle Earth. Or even any commercial traffic on the Anduin? Look, the dwarves didn’t grow a lot of food in their mines, they must have been trading metals and manufactured goods for grain and cabbages, so how was that stuff transported? There seems to be no commerce at all apart from the occasional inn. In the…

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42

42

The last stretch of the Staffs and Worcester is a little whimsical, or at least the people who live along it are. One family contents themselves with a beautifully manicured garden, with only a dolls’ house on a plinth add a soup├žon of non sequitur. Another has a belligerently lavender shed and a green faced pirate leering over the fence. What, you ask is the pirate leering at? Why, this lady just across the canal from him. Nearby a delightfully…

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Things To Do In Penkridge

Things To Do In Penkridge

We had moored overnight at the summit of the Staffs and Worcester, so after a pleasant and lock free few miles this morning we started heading downhill again. It’s easier to work the locks going down, though most of the ones that we did today lacked the handy bridge at the downstream end that makes closing the gates easier. At the first lock we came to, an old toll office converted to a store dominated the skyline. Soon after, a…

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King on the Run

King on the Run

The English Civil War ran for nine seasons, but by the end they were scraping the bottom of the barrel for new plot lines. The main villain (or hero, depending on your point of view) had been executed in the season seven finale, and the English were so sick and tired of fighting each other they were willing to settle down and be puritans if that was the fashionable thing to be. But it was still getting good ratings, so…

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The Island of Doctor De Morgan

The Island of Doctor De Morgan

I hope everyone remembers how to pronounce Wightwick by now because I’m not going to explain again. Today we arrived early enough to go on a tour, and learned that the furry lump on the dining table represents Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s pet wombat. The wombat-obsessed Rossetti was so excited when we has expecting delivery of his new pet that he penned one of his worst poems. Oh how the family affections combat Within this heart, and each hour flings a…

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Return to Botterham Bottom Lock

Return to Botterham Bottom Lock

You have to admit, it’s a great name. I’ve already discussed the commercial possibilities inherent in this name, but I just had to share it with you one more time. Here’s what Botterham Bottom Lock and Botterham Top Lock look like from the bottom. Here’s one of the little walkways that get you from one side of the lock to the other when you are working the gates. The hand rail on one side was a later addition. It may…

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Dodging Showers

Dodging Showers

It was raining this morning, so we watched the radar and waited till it stopped at about eleven before setting out. We lucked out. There were bands of rain on either side of us all day, but it stayed dry on the Staffs and Worcs. The locks are fairly evenly spaced out on this stretch of canal. We did seven of them today, with reasonable gaps in between. We were faced with a decision in the late afternoon, either to…

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The Quest For The Giant Tussock Sedge

The Quest For The Giant Tussock Sedge

Canal and River Trust keeps telling boaters to save water by sharing locks if there is enough room. Apparently some swans got the message. This morning we went back to Stourport Basin, got the transmission fixed (though we still have the annoying screech around 1,200 RPM) and headed north. The lock from the basin to the canal is a tricky one. The ground crew has to cross a busy road to get from the basin to the lock itself, and…

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Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth

Some days the first cow of the day turns out to be a rhino. You may wonder why we haven’t been posting recently. Remember when I wrote …in fact the Stratford Tourist Board will do almost anything to stop this information from coming to light. If I am pecked to death by swans in the next few days you know who to blame. Well, it wasn’t that. But nobody bothered to ask! You people just don’t understand the threat of…

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