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Locking Down to Worcester


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2002 An English Narrowboat Holliday & 2002 Heart Attack at Shroud Key & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Swan and adolescent cygnets

Swan and adolescent cygnets


Leaving the mooring

Leaving the mooring


In the beginning, Bob steered and our daughter and son-in-law did the locks.
Peaceful rural canal

Peaceful rural canal


Right after Tibberton, the locks start.
Path beside the canal

Path beside the canal


There were 14 of them between Tibberton and the Severn River in Worcester. First were the Offerton Locks (6).
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We were following another boat which also had first time hirers. Another boat following us was more experienced.Since we were all going in the same direction, that meant the first boat opened the top paddles, and after the lock filled opened the gates (which were almost impossible to open unless the water was level inside and outside the lock), drove the boat into the lock closing the top paddles and gates.
lock gate

lock gate


Looking down on us as Bob drives into the lock

Looking down on us as Bob drives into the lock

Looking under a bridge to the lock gates

Looking under a bridge to the lock gates

Going through locks

Going through locks


Operating the lock gates

Operating the lock gates

Up in the lock

Up in the lock


Grandson observing from a pedestrian bridge

Grandson observing from a pedestrian bridge

Daughter pushing the lock gate open

Daughter pushing the lock gate open


Then they opened the bottom paddles, and after the lock emptied, opened the gates, and exited the lock, closing the gates and paddles behind them.Then we had to do the same procedure unless we met a boat coming up, in which case they would fill the lock and leave the top gates open. At one point, the people ahead didn't shut one of the bottom paddles all the way so the lock wouldn't fill. The lady in the boat behind us pointed that out. After we got done with the Offerton locks, our son-in-law steered, and Bob and our daughter (and grandson) did the locks.
son-in-law steering

son-in-law steering


Gregory Mills Locks

Gregory Mills Locks


Grandson and Bob at the lock

Grandson and Bob at the lock


our boat going down in the lock

our boat going down in the lock


Each lock and bridge is numbered in sequence (different sequence for bridges than for the locks)
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You are supposed to push the gates rather than pull them. That way you don't back off into the canal. There are studs on the brickwork in the semicircular swing radius of the gate lever to help give traction.
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When the water is out of the lock you can see the Lock Gate Sill sticking out from the gates. It is this sill which will damage the rudder if you don't keep the boat away from the lock gates. When the boat is going down in the locks it can come down on the sill and the rudder will be damaged. When the boat is going up in the lock, the water pushes the boat back toward the stern and the rudder can get stuck under the lock gates which allows water to come in on top of the boat and flood it. Neither is desirable.
Lock Gate Sill

Lock Gate Sill


On the water, proper protocal is to keep to the right. Even in England, boats drive on the right
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We passed under a railroad bridge, with the interesting hole in it,
Railroad bridge

Railroad bridge

Approaching RR bridge

Approaching RR bridge

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and had intended to go into the Viking boat basin to get water (this was right next to the bridge) but it was a very tight turn so we decided not to try it.
Viking Waterpoint on the other side of the bridge

Viking Waterpoint on the other side of the bridge


We are starting to see more urban scenery.
Coming into the city

Coming into the city

City buildings

City buildings

Down in the lock

Down in the lock


The canal path is now paved and the edge of the canal is brick. There are moorings along the sides which are set in permanently. It would not be possible just to stick a stake into the ground and moor here.

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We decided to go all the way down into Worcester almost to the Severn locks (the last 2 on the canal) and get water and turn around in the Diglis basin ready to come back. Bob took over running the boat in Worcester, and as we approached the Sidbury Lock which was the last one we were going to do in that direction. We were going to go down and turn around and come back up the lock and be ready to leave the next morning to go back. From here we could eat in the Kings Head or access the town and cathedral easily. We saw a lady and a little girl in a colonial costume.
feeding the ducks in front of the lock

feeding the ducks in front of the lock


We came in to let our SIL, daughter and grandson off to work the lock, and apparently one of the ducks got between the boat and the brick side of the canal and was killed. The lady had a fit. But as the boat yard manager said - you can't maneuver an 18 ton boat that precisely, and also you can't see from the steering position exactly what is in front of you because there's a big blind spot. Our grandson was the only one of us who had actually seen the duck. This made him feel important, but not too upset.
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It left a bad taste in everyone's mouths because we all felt that the lady who was feeding the ducks had caused the problem (because even baby ducks can swim faster than our boat if they are paying attention) and she was very officious and said she would report it to the RSPCA and there would be a big fine. Some guy (presumably her boss) wanted us to stop for us to talk to him in the middle of locking down, or under the bridge which was next to the lock.
Locking down in Worcester

Locking down in Worcester


We couldn't do that of course, because we'd have been in the way of any other traffic wanting to use the lock. He didn't seem to understand that you can't just stop a boat like you can a car by putting on the brakes. Boats have no brakes, and there was no place to tie to in this area.He came down and told us it was a protected duck (!!!) and endangered etc. They asked for the boat number, which was written in LARGE numbers on the side of the boat, along with the hire companies phone number which he ostentatiously wrote down. Later found out that the duck which he said was a protected duck (ruddy duck) was in fact an invasive species from North America, which far from being endangered was on the list to be eradicated because it was taking over from the Spanish white-headed duck which is the native duck.

It is endangering the white-headed duck by interbreeding

So we continued down and turned in Diglas Basin (not a trivial operation as there were moorings and boats at the docks). There was a pub here, but the guidebooks warned that it might be a rough group and primarily a drinking pub and not an eating pub. After we turned, we got water.
Diglas basin

Diglas basin

Grandson and son-in-law pulling boat to mooring

Grandson and son-in-law pulling boat to mooring

Tied up below Bridge #2 - Worcester

Tied up below Bridge #2 - Worcester


Then our son-in-law and grandson pulled the boat along the towpath and we tied up below the lock instead of above the lock (closer to town) as we had intended. (We were moored right opposite the Royal Worcester factory at bridge #2, but there was no access from the canal towpath to bridge #2. So we had to walk up to the next bridge each time.) The total distance of our trip was less than 6 miles.
Kings Head

Kings Head


We got off the boat and went into town (We didn't want to eat at the King's Head with a view of the canal at that point.) and ate a late lunch at Charlie's Cafe (Our grandson had sausage and chips, I had quiche and salad, SIL had steak and ale pie, Bob had a tuna sandwich and our daughter had a cheese potato and salad). It was too bad that we didn't walk up into the cathedral first to eat because they were having a food fair.
Fair - Worcester

Fair - Worcester

We toured the cathedral (King John is buried there) and our daughter, SIL and grandson went up into the tower.
Worcester cathedral

Worcester cathedral


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City gate

City gate


Bob and I walked to the Royal Worcester factory, and I looked for a wedding present for our niece, but none of the things she'd asked for were available there even though I looked in all 3 shops (regular, sale and seconds). She will just have to make do with the wedding spoon I got in Wales. I did get my mom an iris fairy plate (she was an iris judge).
Worcester factory

Worcester factory


Our daughter took our grandson to get some soccer spikes for camp this week, and then they went to the Royal Worcester factory too and she got her cousin some cut glass.
Street near Sidley Lock - Worcester

Street near Sidley Lock - Worcester


Our SIL wanted to go to mass either Sun morning or Sat evening, so our daughter and I had researched beforehand all the Catholic churches in Worcester. (The Cathedral is COE of course.) St. George's was not too far away which had 6 pm mass, so they walked up to it, and Bob and I napped a bit on the boat, and then met them at bridge #3.
Plants growing on the canal walls

Plants growing on the canal walls


We had dinner at Ye Old Talbot. (The food fair was over at 5:30 pm). I had the lamb chop special, our daughter had the lamb joint which was more fat and had bones, and Bob and our SIL had steak and ale pie, which neither one of them thought was as good as previous ones they had had. Our grandson had a hamburger and chips for a change. For dessert, our daughter and grandson shared a chocolate torte, Bob had lemon Brule (which was excellent), and I had a blackberry pie for dessert. Our SIL had another Guinness.
Our family at dinner - Worcester

Our family at dinner - Worcester

I have finally gotten resigned to the fact that lemonade means Sprite here, and hot tea is too hot for me to drink right away if I am thirsty, so this time I ordered pineapple juice and got about half a glass of it. So I ordered tap water in addition

Posted by greatgrandmaR 08:26 Archived in England Tagged boat king cathedral lock canal duck john

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