89. Crazy Low Bridge on Droitwich Canal & Narrowboat Experience Scores

Before I start this week’s vlog, to
celebrate the Journey with Jono and Narrowboat Experience collaboration we’ve
created a series of clothing and mug designs you can purchase. There are both
Narrowboat Experience and Journey with Jono t-shirts and my favourite, an Alice,
Munchy and Molly t-shirt and mug. The limited edition items are only available
until the 1st of December and there’s a link in the description below to the Art
By Anna-Marie page. Good morning. Well, today I am leaving Droitwich Spa.
I’m going through a couple of swing bridges. Some of them are open, some of
them are closed and about five or six locks but Droitwich Spa has been
a nice place two moor up. The basin is really good. It’s completely secure.
You have your British Waterways key to get through the gates there. There’s all
the main necessities in the town. Lots of different variety of shops and takeaways
and restaurants. Main supermarkets Waitrose, Morrison’s are very, very close
to the canal. [ Music ] Leaving the basin within the town, right
away we need to travel through three swing bridges before heading out onto a
small, narrow stretch of the River Salwarpe. Then as a bit of a surprise, is the
M5 motorway bridge-tunnel and just after it are some more locks
including a staircase lock just south of Body Brook. Let’s hope that name isn’t a
reality! Sweeping past Droitwich Spa Marina towards Hanbury Bottom, Middle and
Top Locks before turning onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Hanbury
Junction. I’ve been a little bit surprised with the lack of mooring on
the Droitwich Barge Canal. Purely because of those high weeds. It proved to be quite
difficult to find mooring spots. There were probably three spots, maybe four in
total all the way from the River Severn to Droitwich Spa itself. There are a
couple more on the way out, going towards Birmingham and Worcester Canal but
if they just cut the weeds back, it would be a lot better. There were some really
nice mooring spots with beautiful views and lovely and quiet you can be really
remote, even though you’re quite close to the town but we couldn’t moor
there because of the weeds. So I don’t know if that’s on purpose or if that’s
just the way they want this canal to look so, some canals you can moor up 99%
of it. The only places you’re not allowed two moor are when there’s designated signs,
at winding holes, lock landings, water points, weirs, that sort of thing. [ Engine revving ] You’re pleased with that? Kath: It’s alright. No bumping, no scratching.
Kath: I think something fell over inside. So I’m travelling behind Kath today. Anna-Marie is up ahead dealing with the swing bridges
and the locks and I am going to sweep up behind and close them all. We thought we might be able to do both
the swing bridges at the same time and just go straight through but there’s too
many people around, walking through the park, taking dogs for a walk and they
would probably get a bit annoyed. So we are going to do them individually. It looks like these swing bridges are a little bit more complicated, or a bit
difficult than originally thought. So it’s my turn to get off my boat and
help Anna-Marie, see what on earth is going on here. So what’s wrong with this one do you think? It’s the same as the last one.
I think what happens is they shut the gates well but
overnight, the gate moves a little bit and it jams the padlock in. So I need
somebody on this side pushing like, just doing pumps of pushing it so I can
wriggle the padlock out. I am doing the bridge wiggle. There we go, it looks like it’s done. Kath: Two for that one as well Jono. Two for that one, okay, that’s brilliant.
Thank you. Are we catching up?
Kath: Yes, we’re definitely gonna win. [ Music ] Today Kath and Anna-Marie from The Narrowboat Experience are running a scoreboard for who helps the most at locks.
Of course, I’m expecting huge bias as there are two of them! [ Music ] We’re now in the river section. There are
a couple of warnings in the book about not mooring up along this stretch
because if the river floods, it rises very rapidly and there’s lots of high
walls all up all around to contain the water and obviously the two locks to
stop it flooding the canal itself but today it’s as flat as a pancake. [ Music ] Okay. This is when having a chimney or
anything that’s high up on a boat could prove difficult because the tunnel ahead
is extremely low. There is a barrier this side to tell you and I think it’s going
to hit my aerial so I might turn my aerial on its side and just go really slowly
and hope for the best. I can imagine if you’ve got high top
boxes or anything quite high on the roof this is where you’ll get stuck. [ Horn Beeps ] [ Music ] This is crazy low for a tunnel. I’ve
never known anything like it. Going through tunnels and bridges like
that, out of the blue make you really think about the amount of things that
you should have on your roof and how high they should be. I think I need to
look into changing my solar panel brackets and all it would take is another
tunnel like that, or a bit more water, or I might not have filled up with water
this morning and the the nose of the boat would have been higher and I could
have been into it in a bit of a pickle. So, I think it’s about time I changed my
brackets. [ Music ] She’s all yours now! Anna-Marie: Awsome!
I must say it is
nice to see other people controlling Molly and Molly actually listening to them
and doing as they say as well because obviously, there’s the owner, dogs will
predominantly always do what their owner says but will they do what other people
say and seeing Anna-Marie in a distance with Molly and
telling Molly to sit and she actually sitting and following her rules, it’s
quite nice to see. Good old Molly. Well done, I’m proud of her. We met viewers Graham and Bev right at
the top of the staircase ready to go down and it’s always great to meet
viewers as you’re traveling around the system but he had a double whammy today
because he obviously also watches Narrowboat Experience and he saw me as
well as those two and he was like, whoa!! So that was really nice to see. [ Music ] [ Gushing water sound ] It’s really peculiar, it’s almost as
though we’re draining the pound. I suppose we are a little bit as much as a lock.
It just feels like we’ve opened some huge paddles and it’s just emptying the
whole canal. That’s really weird. it’s never usually this strong. So just as I go under this bridge, I do a
hard turn left and then we’re on to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. I’ve moored up on some Armco and Narrowboat Experience, Lazy Days have just moored up ahead of me and we’re going to
sit and stay here for a couple of days. We’ve got a bit of work to do. I’ve got a
bit of editing, they’ve got painting and things to do so,
finally, that was a tough journey today. Even though it was only a relatively
small amount of locks, the last three locks – the start of the Droitwich Canal
from this direction, we’re really slow and because they’re very deep locks, they
needed to fill side pounds and back again and it was quite busy, there
were two boats coming down as well so, pleased to get through those and even
though it’s sort of lunchtime, it’s absolutely shattered. This week I’d like
to thank three top-level Patreon supporters. Stuart Bell from County
Durham in the North East of England. Mark Gaultiere from Ohio in the United States
and Joan Smith from Texas in the United States. Thank you so much for your
support. In the next vlog, I give the helm of Alice to Anna-Marie.
Scary! and I explore the broadcasting facility for long wave and medium wave
transmissions at the Droitwich Transmitting Station. Until next time, see
you later.


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