Wednesday 20th June; Curdworth to Fisher’s Mill Bridge
It was a bright and sunny morning but the A road was noisy with commuters and we didn’t want to hang about. I needed to post a couple of things and get some milk, so Meg and I went up to the Post Office stores across that busy road. The village has some attractive older buildings amongst the modern houses; this is Red Lion Cottage. It’s nice to be back where people say ‘good morning’ as you pass them in the street.
The towpath has mostly been roughly mown with little left for wildlife save a few clumps of flowers such as this Ragged Robin. I hope they let it seed before they mow it off.
We were soon into the Curdworth flight, unfortunately behind another boat. And it rained – thick drizzle in the wind. You needed a waterproof, but then quickly overheated, so we were glad it was only for about half an hour. About half way down some bank repairs were taking place.
Four of them were watching from the bank as the driver operated the piledriver. One of them is wearing chest waders so he must have been in the canal at some point.
I had just opened the top gate of the lock before the Dog and Doublet when I looked round to see a dripping Meg getting towelled off after an unexpected dip. The stern had swung out a little bit, she had misjudged her jump, and slipped on the wet steel.
We made an early stop on the visitor moorings at the pub for lunch and by the time we were leaving boats were arriving and glad to take our place. This family of ducks had seen me brushing the crumbs from the breadboard before we left and followed us down the flight, walking round the locks and keeping a close eye on us.
The babies look almost grown, but they still have the piping voices of ducklings.
Curdworth locks all have flower beds, and the bottom lock has the best ones. People think the CRT volunteers look after them but a man from the cottages said it was the local residents who did most of the watering.
The bottom gate here sticks and Dave had to give me a hand to open it. I was ready for it when I closed up and got it past the dodgy bit before it realised. We carried on for a few hundred yards and moored just before Fisher’s Mill bridge, next to the nature reserve. Dogs have to be on a lead if you take them into the reserve on the towpath side, so we don’t go in there. Instead we take her over the bridge, and Meg adores it because of the lovely woodland walks (and squirrel menacing opportunities).
I gave the roof a good wash and Dave started repainting the sides of the engine hole. There were few boats on the move, and apart from a hire boat that came in well after 8 o’clock, the moorings were deserted.
4½ miles, 11 locks