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  • clivenmel

Nov 13th

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;} Sorry there was no blog last night, we were in a ?black hole?, no mobile signal and no dongle signal ? strangely enough though we had a brilliant TV signal!!   We were just getting ready to leave Goldstone Wharf yesterday morning, having had breakfast and washed up etc.  Once again it was absolutely glorious, blue sky, sunshine and just a few fluffy clouds.  Clive was just admiring the view from the dining room window when he saw a kingfisher in the tree opposite.  He quickly grabbed the camera and put the big lens on and snapped off a few photos, here is the best one.  Isn?t it fantastic!   After a little while he moved on to continue his fishing and we cast off to continue our journey.  We were heading for Norbury Junction, which in actual fact isn?t a great distance away, however we could only travel very slowly as there were soooooooooooooooo many moored boats on this stretch and as you have to slow down to pass moored boats - mainly out of courtesy as a bow wave can wreak havoc on a moored boat ? we know because not everyone is courteous!  It took us quite a while!  However it was very pleasant just cruising through the beautiful Shropshire countryside. We saw yet another kingfisher flitting along ahead of us, alighting on fence posts tantalisingly out of photo range.    There is a really long embankments along this stretch of the canal called the Shebdon Embankment.  Put yourself in the position of Sir Richard Whitworth?s tenant farmer at Batchacre Park, which we could see across the fields.  Up until 1830 he would see the rising sun shining in through his East facing windows, however one year later his dawn view was cut off forever by an embankment twice the height of the farmhouse!  It is no wonder that the canal wasn?t popular with a lot of the farmers in this rural area of the county.  Also, whilst cruising along the cutting we were aware of a strong smell of chocolate and on checking in the book discovered that Cadbury?s have a factory right here in the middle of open countryside!  We passed the Cadbury Wharf on the left.  The reason for this is that the canal was used to transport milk from the countless dairy farms in the area, also sugar crumb and cocoa.  In fact Cadbury?s had their own fleet of narrowboats.  These products continued to be transported to the factory by narrowboat right up until 1961!   Whilst passing through one of the cuttings along the way we passed this really weird bridge!  I don?t know whether the telegraph pole, which is inside the opening, has ever been used or whether it is just some sort of sculpture, but it certainly is very strange!   We finally arrived at Norbury Wharf where we were booked in to have a 250 hour service.  Unfortunately this took a bit longer than normal as they didn?t have any oil filters in stock and we had to wait for one to be delivered!  However it gave us chance to fill up with water and do a bit of shopping.   Whilst we were moored at the wharf waiting for the filter to be fitted we just happened to notice a pub opposite (strange that!!) with a notice board outside which said ?Folk Club ? Tuesday 18th November ? all welcome? ? well how about that!  We are going back to Market Drayton tomorrow as we are having another family gathering with Clive?s cousins on Saturday but we will certainly make sure we are back at Norbury Junction by next Tuesday evening ? well, one can?t pass up the opportunity to visit a folk club can one?   By the time the mechanic had finished it was already getting dark, we could have stayed at the wharf but it wasn?t a particularly nice place to stay the night so we just pulled out of the wharf, under the bridge and moored up along the tow path.  The only drawback, as I have mentioned, was the lack of mobile signal.  Never mind, we settled down and watched TV and even managed to resist the lure of The Junction Inn ? well, we?ll be back next week!   This morning was not pleasant at all, in fact it was drizzling.  We were in no rush to go anywhere so we just relaxed, Clive watched TV and I read my book.  Then Clive decided to push on a bit, so I stayed where I was, cuddled up in front of the stove with my book whilst he got into his waterproofs ? bless!  We pootled along for a couple of hours and the rain finally fizzled out, then Clive spotted another pub ? The Wharf Inn at Shebdon Wharf.  So we are moored up here for the night and might just have to pop in and see what guest ales they have on offer!

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