Decisions, decisions

Trip Start Apr 02, 2012
Trip End Oct 31, 2012

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Where I stayed
On the Shroppie

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday 16th
9 miles
1 very short tunnel

Yesterday was a complete washout as far as the weather goes. We started the day undecided about what to do and when it began to rain we decided to stay put. Good decision. It rained the whole day and was also very windy. We were moored on an aqueduct at Shebdon, on mooring rings and there were very tall trees on the other side of the canal. I remember thinking at bedtime, "Hope the aqueduct doesn't give way with us on it and I hope none of those VERY tall trees come down during the night". Needless to say, neither happened and I fell asleep pretty quickly, although it was strange to hear the occasional lorry going down the road BENEATH us. 

Today, by contrast, was a beautiful day. The sun shone most of the time and we had no locks to do so just enjoyed a slow meander along the water. We stopped at Gnosall to get a few items of shopping and hung the washing out for a few hours while we had lunch. We set off again, deciding to stop at the first good space, which was a long time coming. Meanwhile we went through more cuttings and over more embankments till we arrived at the almost ideal space just past Church Eaton.

Historical note - Shelmore Embankment
The construction of this great embankment, 1 mile long, just south of Norbury Junction, was the source of endless grief and expense to the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal Company in general and to Thomas Telford (engineer) in particular. It was an enormous task anyway to shift the millions of cubic feet of earth to build the bank; but while the contractors struggled to complete it, the bank slipped and collapsed time and time again. By early 1834, Shelmore Embankment was the only unfinished section of the whole canal. It was not until 1835, after five and a half years' solid work on it and well after Telford's death, that the embankment was completed by William Cubitt and the B and LJ Canal was opened as a through route. There are flood gates at each end, to close off the channel in case of a breach. These were closed each night during WWII as a precaution against flooding due to bombing.
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