Friday, 17 September 2010

Canal-side view
Cute little fellow in the garden of The Commandery

Wednesday 15th September

An interesting day in Worcester. We visited Grey Friars, which is a 16th century house close to the centre of the city. The name doesn't denote that it was once monastic, but because it was once erroneously thought to be part of the local Grey Friars Monastery. The building had been owned for many years by a brother and sister who rescued it from demolition and then restored it. Later they donated it to The National Trust.

I have been out taking photos, but couldn't get the one I wanted of the Cathedral because the best view is from the river.

We still haven't decided whether to move on tomorrow or stay another day and see a building called The Commandery, another place with lots of history.

Thursday16th September

This morning we did go to see The Commandery. This is a fascinating place and has been many things through the ages. The site was first a hospital, founded in the 11th century by St. Wulfstan and seems to have had a very varied career since then. It was a headquarters for the royalists in the final battle of the civil war and was last used as a print works up until the 1970s. The tour of the place is very well organised. Using audio devices you can choose from any of 6 different period tours with several choices within each of those 6.

When we had finished our look around we returned to the boat and set off to continue up the Worcester and Birmingham. We have been told that we made a good choice not to go up the Severn because it was shut again due to too high a flow rate.

Our afternoon trip was a short one, only as far as Blackpole Lock where we moored up and I took the bicycle and want shopping at the big supermarket about ½ a mole away. It looks as if this may be the last chance for a reasonable bet of provisioning until we get to Birmingham because the route of the canal doesn't go near any large towns.

Friday 17th September

A lovely if slightly cold day today. When the sun shone it was very warm on your back, but without it the temperature seemed to drop considerably. It wasn't all good during the day, a duck flew over the boat this morning and decided to dump all over the back of the boat, getting Cath in the process. Later on I was manoeuvring to avoid a grounded boat and got tangled in a low hanging tree which wiped out our Sky dish. I don't know when we are going to be able to replace it.

Our route through the Worcestershire countryside was very picturesque with lovely fields and beautiful villages. We climbed 98 ft. through 13 locks today and tomorrow will tackle Tarrdebigge Locks. First are Stoke Locks, a flight of 6, then only about 200 yd. and your into the flight proper, 30 locks, climbing 217ft. in under 2 miles. We did these locks with a hire boat about10 or 11 years ago, I suppose it won't be any easier this time!

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