Saturday 23 September 2017

Not Goldberry

As we started out towards Great Haywood Junction this morning, I thought for a moment I had an addition to my list of Tolkien-themed boat names.

River Daughter reminded me immediately of Goldberry – Tom Bombadil's companion. Alas, it was not to be. Later research showed that she was known as "River-woman's daughter". Goldberry has her own honourable entry in the list, but no additional alias, I'm afraid.

After picking up water and getting a pump-out we came down through Tixall Wide,

impressed as ever by this tribute to the family through whose land the canal passed, and of whose estate the only remaining visible relic is the gatehouse (still hireable, apparently, for functions).

Speaking of relics, the Wide was playing host to a rather nice wooden launch,

not that the white satellite dish did a great deal for its lines. Also out and about (and not at all relic-like) was the Stafford Boating Club.

They were on their annual mystery cruise. It would be more of a mystery, said one member, if they didn't cruise to the same place every year!

We left them enjoying themselves, though it seemed the gazebos might be needed more as protection from the rain than from the sun. But we did find ourselves in some afternoon shine as we tied up at Radford Bank, opposite a tidy garden.

Tixall Wide might be Goldberry country, but Radford Bank certainly is not, with the A34 rushing over the bridge a few yards away. However, it's very convenient for a quick walk down to the local Aldi.


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