Saturday, 18 August 2012

Rather Too Much Time Waiting For The Laundry!

(Boat Chalice - posted by Alan)

The long wait for the laundry.
Today was one where we had a very definite idea of where we wished to end up, namely Stretton Aqueduct over the A5, as we were planning to see friends who moor there.

This meant a "light" boating day, but this fitted well with making a stop-over at Norbury Wharf.  Norbury is a good place to buy diesel, (almost but not quite the cheapest anywhere on the cut, usually), would yield a chandlers for certain items we needed, and there are also BW showers here, and a chance to replenish the watertank.

Good cloud formations.
But Norbury Wharf also offer a laundry service - not a launderette though - you leave a load, which they wash, dry and fold for you as a "service wash".  I think we arrived about 10:30, and were told we could have our washing done by about 12:30, which worked very well for us.

Bridge 28 (obviously!).
The reality though proved to be rather different.  What Norbury had not confided was they didn't have enough bedding for their hire fleet, and were actually putting that through, in priority for anything for other customers.  Each time I crossed the canal back to the office, I was given a new revised time to complete.  However we only finally got our washing back around 3:00 pm, about two and a half hours later tha original estimate, by which time we were starting to get a bit bored with Norbury!  If I used this service again, I'd press them a bit more on the point of actual likely completion!

One of the many tree lined cuttings.
Actually the delay was not a disaster, as we had a lot of slack built into the day, but did mean we didn't arrive at our planned destination until early evening, rather than the mid afternoon we thought we might achieve.  We were helped by the "Shroppie" being unusually quiet - one boat we caught up moved over swiftly for us to pass, and nobody was waiting at the single lock at Wheaton Aston.

Lone lock at Wheaton Aston.
We tied up on the embankment at Stretton, close to the aqueduct, but away from our friends offside mooring - they were not sure their cat would like Odin!  Unexpectedly another "Canal World" friend was moored up just ahead of us - also with a cat, but Odin seemed happy enough to ignore it.

"Big Woolwich" pair "Chertsey" & "Bakewell"
After a bit of negotiation, we came up with a pub we could all visit in Brewood - David volunteered to stay on board with Odin, so we were down to what would fit in one car.  We had a very pleasant evening, with very reasonable "Landlord" on tap.  I was genuinely staggered at the volume of fast moving traffic under the Stretton Aqueduct as we made our way back to the boat - quite frightening, and it was very fortunate our friend had a torch, as I had contrived to leave ours at the pub!

High Offley to Stretton Aqueduct

Miles: 11.6, Locks: 1
Total Miles: 359.2 Locks: 184 (Worked)


  1. The illumination may be artificial, but I really like the picture of Chertsey & Bakewell, it goes well with other atmospheric pictures I have, and I 'know' these through CWDF.

    Despite the obvious artifacts, could you let me have a 'best quality' copy, via email please? Obviously I've saved a copy from the blog, but if I want to try a hard copy onto decent paper it seems sensible to start from the best version I can get :-)

    Regards, David

  2. David,

    Photo was by my son David - not one of mine or Cath's.

    Many of the more unusual shots in the blogs are his.

    If you PM me an email address via CWDF, I'll see what we can do.