After a couple of days moored below Aston Marina it was time to move on . We pulled pins at 08.10 and said goodbye to our friendly neighbours. Hopefully I will meet up with these Calves again in a couple of years time when they are cooked medium rare then smothered in a delicious peppercorn sauce and surrounded by chips ,Peas and a few onion rings. (Carolyn thinks I'm terrible but where do you think your steak comes from ).
This is always a good sight as you approach a lock . Its a group of volunteers painting everything black and white on this lock .They were a happy bunch and we had a good bit of banter as they helped us lock down .They did have one little moan about the paint they were using as they said ”it was environmentally friendly and they had to use it, but was a pain in the
arse neck to apply as it kept running and didn't want to adhere to the lock surfaces”.
This is the bridge that crosses the canal at the junction and you can see that the old canal companies had their own ideas about how bridges should be finished . On the left The Trent and Mersey canal liked to have brick coping where as the Staffs and Worcs on the right canal preferred stone coping.
After a walk around Great Haywood village and a shop in the local mini market we went and had a look around Great Haywood marina just in case Inca wants to spend a few months on a secure mooring in the Winter .We had a very friendly welcome and have put our name down just in case Inca needs a mooring . We are also going to look at Barton Turns marina , Mercia Marina at Willington and Sawley Marina as we make our way towards the River Trent as we have had good reports from fellow boaters about all of them
On the way in to Great Haywood marina you have the farm shop which includes a pick your own Raspberries and Strawberries. Carolyn had a go at me for eating the Raspberries instead of picking them and putting them in the punnet. Yum Yum
After a couple of days at Great Haywood we thought we would see if we could pick up a mooring at Tixall wide which is only about a mile away . So we reversed back up to the junction and turned onto the Staffs and Worcs canal.
After a very short cruise we were lucky enough to pick up this mooring on the wide . Not only did we have an amazing view from our front room window but we also got a mooring with no over hanging trees which is great for the solar panels giving us lots of free electric…Just the ticket
Tixall wide is a body of water that forms part of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal near Tixall in Staffordshire, to the south of the former Tixall hall . The hall was, at that time, owned by Thomas Clifford, the fourth son of Hugh Clifford, 3rd Baron Clifford of Chudleigh, and the grounds had been designed on the advice of the landscape architect Lancelot "Capability" Brown The lake was probably created during the construction of the canal in 1771. It is said he "gave permission for the canal to pass through his land on the condition that it was made ... wide enough to look like a lake from the house" and thus in order not to spoil the view.Many Boaters moor on the Wide,and the towpath is a very popular overnight mooring spot, or passing through the Wide you have an excellent view of the magnificent Elizabethan gatehouse that is the only remaining part of Tixall Hall.
It has also been suggested that the canal was routed to utilise a lake that already existed, in which the angler and writer Izaak Walton had learned to fish.
A little later a boat moored up behind us and Carolyn said “ I know those people on that boat “ So off she went to say hello . Half an hour later she came back and it turned out that she had seen them on the TV programme Escape to the Country just two days before . The lady told Carolyn all about their experience on the show which was made around Lincoln. What a small World it is.
We have now had a few days chilling here on the wide and tomorrow we are off again towards Rugeley where we will need to do a large shop to refill the wine cellar and I guess some food shopping as well.