Thursday 11 June 2015

River Churnet

(Posted the day after the official date, because of a complete absence of internet access!)

Boating, in this weather, through the Churnet valley, down the Caldon Canal to Froghall is a delightful experience.

A large swampy area to the left seems to mark the head of the river, and then you come to Oakmeadowford Lock, which leads down to what has quickly become a healthy flow. With a lot of rain, the river can become dangerous, so there are warning signs above the lock.

The river eventually departs to the right via a weir, and the canal continues on a narrow, shallow and bendy section. Older brother NÂș 2 had great fun steering Erin Mae round it, and we all shared the excitement when we had to pole off at one point. The last lock in the run to Froghall has a plastic curtain in the exit, so you can judge whether your boat will make it through Froghall tunnel. If the plastic catches, don’t even think about it!

This was actually taken on the way back, after we had winded and stopped at Froghall for lunch. Tonight we’ve come back to the lime kiln near the Black Lion pub, and shortly the BBQ will get going.

Today was made all the sweeter by the sequel to yesterday’s saga of the shower pump. We had our evening meal in the Hollybush, and who should come across to say hello but Little Rich, who used to work at Great Haywood and who’d painted under the window we’d had repaired in 2012. It was great to see him again. I took the opportunity of putting to him the questions about fuses I raised yesterday, and he came on board, had a look, achieved a temporary fix with an unbent paper clip, and offered some advice about a long-term solution. Brilliant!

One of the things Rich said has stuck with with me. His father had told him that when there’s a problem the solution is under your feet. I.e., look for the solution in what you have to hand. What Rich did last night was a great example of that in practice. Thanks, Rich!


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