Thursday 28 September 2017


Somehow it seems necessary, whenever we travel this stretch of the Shroppie, to take yet more photos of the same landmarks. It's strange, because it's not as though any of them are likely to have changed appearance. There's the odd High Bridge (Bridge 39) in Grub Street cutting, north of Norbury Junction.

For those who haven't seen countless pictures of this bridge on boaters' blogs, that's a telegraph pole mounted on the mezzanine.

It appears to serve no purpose whatsoever, apart from that of whimsy. Unlike the Anchor Inn, whose purpose is clear, but whose existence is a mystery, given its isolation and tiny facilities.

They still advertise a Gift Shop, but I've yet to see any evidence that one actually exists. Perhaps it's one way to keep the trade coming.

No longer getting any trade by way of the canal is the factory whose wharf used to see a lot of chocolate floating away to Bourneville.

It now just seems to provide shelter for the occasional boat, while the Knighton factory behind just makes milk powder. What they need reserved moorings for is anybody's guess.

A little further on is Woodseaves Cutting, boasting both another single track with passing places and a bridge competing for height with the "High Bridge" above.

When that finally comes to an end, we reach the last of the obligatory photo-opportunities – Tyrley locks. These are notable on three accounts. First, in the sunshine they are wonderfully picturesque, especially the cottages at the top lock of the five.

Secondly, the beckoning view from the top…

gives no hint of what awaits in the bottom pound of the four. Pity the boater who decides to pull across to the towpath side, to pass another boat or to work the lock. Grounding at that point is one of the few certainties of the inland waterways. Thirdly, should you be coming the other way, it is wise to take no liberties with the bywash of the bottom lock. It can catch you most horribly.

Apart from all that, the Tyrley flight is a joy, and ends with another delight.

I've never really understood fishing, in the form in which it is practised by most of the fishermen we pass. And they are not even uniform in what they'd like from the passing boater (apart from getting off their canal). Some want you to cut the engine, some like you to churn up the bottom. There's really no telling.

One well-understood obligation, however, is to cut your speed when passing moored boats – an obvious courtesy. It only grates a little when you get this:

On several sections of today's leg the moorings seemed to go on for miles and miles. Not that we were really in a hurry, of course. But we did want to cram in a day and a half's travel while the sun was shining. Tomorrow is looking distinctly wetter.


  1. We can confirm the gift shop at The Anchor does exist, we were in it last summer when we were broken down at Norbury Junction. It's in a building around the back and quite extensive. The beer is very good too.

    1. Ah! We found the building but never found it open. Are you sure you weren't dreaming in your bed?!?

      As for the beer, I'm glad you appreciated it and I've heard other reports to back this up. Unfortunately, I have never enjoyed beer of any sort, so its qualities would be lost on me!

      Perhaps next time we pass we'll try another visit.