Sunday 2 June 2013

The Bratch

The distance between each of the three locks in The Bratch flight is no more than a couple of yards – must be the shortest pounds in the whole of the network. Each is connected by a culvert to a side pond, which acts as a reservoir during operation.

We were assisted by Mark, the lock-keeper,

who maintained the BW / CaRT tradition of lock-keepers being friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and of not selling sandwiches! Thanks for your help, Mark – much appreciated.

The locks along this stretch have some other concealed features, such as these circular weirs, feeding overflow water down to the next level.

As we pushed on towards Kinver, the countryside began to change, with a more hilly aspect on one side,

and the bare but attractive sandstone side to the channel on the other.

Kinver Edge has some good walking and some ancient rock houses. Unfortunately they're not open, Mon, Tues, Wed at this time of year. So we have a decision to make – will we stay close until Thursday, or forego the delight this time? We wouldn't mind staying, but we need to keep Erin Mae's batteries charged, and running the engine for several hours a day just for this purpose seems wasteful. It's an issue we'll face elsewhere, and perhaps soon, so we're thinking about adding some solar panels. If anyone has a recommendation of a good firm to talk and deal with, we'd be very glad to hear it.


  1. is a good site with lots of info. We bought our solar panel etc from them and are very pleased with it. Ours is 95 watts as that was the best size for us and certainly allowed us to moor all bank holiday weekend without having to run the engine at all.
    Hope that helps
    Kath (nb Herbie)

    1. Thanks for this, Kath. Their website is good food for thought. And the Herbie blog post on making the tilting support was instructive. I'll have to re-think how much energy we'll need, whether to under-spec or over-spec. I guess I'm most nervous about the fitting side.

  2. Glad you enjoyed coming through the Bratch yesterday Martin, it was good to meet you both and thankfully we didn't have the queues we often get this time of the year.

    Looks like you've got a cracking week ahead weather wise.

    Don't forget to visit the rock houses while you're in Kinver, they're amazing.

    Mark (AKA Bratch Lock Keeper)

    1. Thanks, Mark. We've decided to stay put and make the most of Kinver. A walk on the Edge on Wednesday and then a visit to the rock houses when they open on Thursday. See you again some time!

  3. Thanks for your message on the blog. We have no solar panels on Briar Rose! So I can't really recommend anyone. When we eventually live on board, we'll certainly get some though.

    1. Thanks for getting back to me, Adam. I had just wondered whether you might have picked up something on the airwaves through your boat-testing work. No worries.