Saturday, April 19, 2014

Curdworth Locks...It must be the air.

No rush to get away this morning. We weren't planning on a big day and were glad of a of a lie in as the natives were a bit restless in Hopwas last night keeping us awake until the small hours.

Jasper eventually persuaded John to take him for a walk in the nearby woods so he could do a bit of squirrel chasing (his favourite sport) before breakfast. The first 'craft' to pass us this morning was this chap paddling a surfboard....takes all sorts I guess. 

David and Sheena on nb Tombee Too then appeared and stopped off briefly for a chat before heading off towards Polesworth and we eventually got going about 11am. Where had the sun gone ? Very disappointing after the beautiful weather of yesterday. A brief stop at Fazeley services and then the
right turn onto the Birmingham & Fazeley where this artwork has appeared since we were last this way.

We were soon passing the ornate bridge at Drayton Manor, now of course best known for its theme park. The original Drayton Manor was once home to Sir Robert Peel, former PM and founder of the modern police force, but I believe the original manor is no more. 
Drayton Manor Swingbridge
We were soon at the bottom of Curdworth Locks and set about the ascent. The locks were in our favour which was great. Jasper is not much of a fan of locks. He can get a bit agitated if we as much as brush a gate or wall on the way in. Sometimes we will have him off the boat as we work the locks, but it is easier if he's inside. As Louise worked Lock 8 and we were almost about to leave, she took a quick look in through the window. With a big grin she looked at me and said 'Would you mind going inside and removing Jasper from the kitchen work top'. How he had got up there is a bit of a mystery, and very sheepish he looked too as he was lifted down. Okay win. 

Curdworth Locks are actually quite pleasant and just the one gate top and bottom. We came through a fishing match in the long pound between locks 8&7. The fishing couldn't have been much good. How men can look so miserable with one head is beyond me.

We then met our first candidate for 'selfish git of the day'. This was moored on a single rope right in the middle of the lock landing so that absolutely nobody else could make use of it. Fortunately we didn't need to as the lock was in our favour, but that's not the point. Totally thoughtless.

We could see that there was a boat coming down the locks ahead so we stayed put until we were able to pass in the pound between locks. We seemed to be waiting for ages and in fact water started to pour over the bottom gates of the lock above.
You can just make out the water coming over the gates
Strange we thought, but after some time, the boat came into the lock and descended. We passed in the  pound exchanging pleasantries and continued on. It was only after we got two locks further on that we could see the problem. The water coming over the gates was from the now half empty pound above as paddles had been left open top and bottom. Many thanks candidate number two !!
Low water levels
We ran some water down to refill the pound before we met our third and final candidate, (things really did come in threes today) nb Astbury moored on the lock landing above Lock 2. Why do people do it?
Named and shamed !!
Anyway, moaning over. We have moored just beyond Curdworth Tunnel for the night and are heading into Birmingham tomorrow, so lots of locks for us (and Jasper) to tackle. Early start on the cards, so an early night too. 


  1. Hi

    I have to agree with you about the "selfish gits". I'm nearly always single handed so obviously need to tie up at a lock landing so mooring there would make it very difficult for myself and other single handers. There really should be an intelligence test before people are allowed on boats!

    from Val Blundell

    1. Hi Val
      Hmmmm not sure about an intelligence test....I might not be allowed out myself !! Thanks for comment and taking time to read our blogging effort.