Day 5 – Hopwas to Great Haywood



Quick update on yesterday (or the forgotten things section): during the early hours of day 4 we were passed by a Bolinder-powered narrow boat presumably on their way to Braunston. After blogging last night we spied a barn owl on the prowl.

Fradley Top Lock with Petit Bateau

Fradley Top Lock with Petit Bateau

Today started without any service ringing and continued to be a day free of any distant tinkling. Instead we had a straightforward run without any locks before reaching Fradley junction at around 11am. We enjoyed a remarkably swift passage through the three locks up to the long pound between Wood End and Colwich locks.

The Armitage Shanks factory proved to be the greatest attraction on the route today. Not only did we see the best part of a million toilets, but also a sign warning of a mighty 11.000 volt electricty supply.

Ironic sign by toilet factory

Ironic BW sign outside toilet factory


Michael’s final act on board for the weekend was to wash the foredeck and in doing so to wash Luke’s feet – sort of a Jesus moment. Michael left us at Rugeley leaving a safe five hours before his train departed from Birmingham. A trip to Morrisons just prior to this saw the fridge filled up once again.

Armitage "tunnel"

Armitage “tunnel”

The sun has taken its toll. After Rugeley I stayed inside for almost all the remainder of the journey as I have turned very pink. Luke has awarded me a pinkest nose prize. Factor 80 for the rest of the week I think.

We are now moored up 29 metres north of Swivel Bridge (no. 108) on the Staffs & Worcs. It turns out that a swivel bridge isn’t another type of swing bridge but is actually made of bricks. A bit of clever naming there!

Today’s menus: yet more breakfasty sandwiches, gammon and egg salad for lunch, and Luke’s sausage, bacon, egg, beans, mushroom, tomato and chips stew with dumplings followed by yoghurt curd with chocolate and cinammon mousse. Cheese and port rounded off the evening.

Tomorrow might well see a mediterranean day with an early start, midday siesta, and a late finish all in order to avoid the heat during the height of the day. On the other hand, if it rains, we might go back to sleep.

Below are all the pictures for today. If I get time to sit down tomorrow and wrangle with WordPress we might end up with a more attractive looking blog page. Watch this space…




Wood End lock

Wood End lock

Simon attempting artyness

Simon attempting artyness

ZZZzzz... again!

ZZZzzz… again!

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4 Responses to “Day 5 – Hopwas to Great Haywood”

  1. Michael Says:

    29 metres north of the Swivel Bridge is somewhere in a field. You’d better check I have put the Google Maps marker in the right place!

  2. Mum Bond Says:

    You need lessons from your younger brother in artiness and why don’t you have sun cream with you, was your upbringing so deficient?!

  3. Robin Hall Says:

    ChCh managed Stedman Cinques without the Tardebigge crowd. And everyone bar the President signed in on the latex sheath.

  4. Colin Pennifold Says:

    Following your progress from a very hot Norway, but tell Bernard that I have managed to find an amazingly good bottle conditioned local brew over here.
    Have you tried googling “tardebigge blog” – you show as second in the list, but I assume that the first entry is not related to you!
    Hope you are enjoying the sun and canals

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