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  • clivenmel

Nov 11th

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;}   The day dawned bright and clear with blue sky and a gentle breeze.   Mel said that she?s getting itchy feet again ? she?s turning into a real water gypsy! So we decided that we should push on a bit and see what?s further down the ?road? so we left our mooring in Market Drayton this morning and gently pootled along to the Tyrley locks (pron. Turley) This set of 5 nestles in a most beautiful part of the county with open country in every direction.   The locks are set in a shadowy red sandstone cutting with trees overhanging the water forming a tunnel of branches. At the top of the flight is Tyrley Wharf with a charming set of Tudor-style, 19th century canalside houses on the East side. We stopped for a cuppa and admired the views. I couldn?t help but notice the two flags hanging outside the building, declaring their Eurosceptic leanings to all who pass by ? good for them?   The Wharf was evidently a sort of staging post for a local estate called Peatswood. The commercial activities of the estate have long gone and unfortunately, so have the craft shop and home-baking outlet that had a brief flourish in the 1980?s. They couldn?t have picked a more beautiful spot though?   It was only 2.30pm, so we decided to go a bit further and see what the Woodseaves Cutting looked like. On the map it shows just the fact of a cutting, albeit over a mile and a half long! This is another of Telford?s creations and a job and a half it must have been. It?s a fabulous place even now in the depths of late autumn. The sides quickly slope upwards to over 40ft in places with many trees overhanging, looking down at you from the topmost ridge like huge Ents saying hello. The beech leaves were all yellow and gold in the sunlight as it burst through the tops. Beneath, it?s all dark, damp and gloomy and in this conducive atmosphere, huge ferns hang from both sides. Bright green mosses cling to the exposed rock strata and overhead, long Ivy strands hang down like tropical lianas.   It made me think back to a childhood story by Kipling when he talked about the ?Great, grey, green, greasy, Limpopo River!! I could imagine in a hot summer, this place could be very Amazonian! Wonderful place, must come back..   One of the features of this cutting is a pair of high arched bridges that span the canal like portals to another world.   Back to reality ? we are now moored up just shy of a place called Goldstone Wharf and just in view over the other side, wouldn?t you know, is the Wharf Tavern! Methinks a trial of their current guest ale is warranted!        

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