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  1. Just came up the Wilmcote flight....no sign of any vlockies, strangely!
  2. Thought I'd seen one recently... https://www.boatfinderbrokerage.co.uk/boats/boat-120183-Henry-The-Navigator-58ft-Cruiser-Stern-Narrowboat-Boatfin
  3. Really depends on how much you want to 'do Worcester' or maybe clip a couple of hours off your journey. Droitwich route is more rural and is interesting (single locks, double locks, locks with side-ponds, a staircase lock and an extremely low bridge). There is a handy canal-side Waitrose in the middle of Droitwich. Bear in mind, though, that it is very difficult to stop on most of this route - not sure if that matters to you. I quite like Worcester, but in anti-viral mode I'm thinking city pubs may be a struggle.
  4. Queen's Head is part of Lovely Pub group - so closely related to the Boot at Lapworth, and the similarity shows. They are primarily 'gastro', rather than being for drinkers. The Boot barely counts as a canal pub these days, but was my local in a previous life. We celebrated other half's birthday at the Queen's Head last year (coincidentally - just where we happened to be that night) having called there the year before to take on some calories before tackling Tardebigge flight. There's something about spending a Summer's evening in an English pub garden, on the rare occasions when you comfortably can, and food is excellent if you are not on a tight budget. Eagle & Sun serves a useful purpose - rather more 'cheap and cheerful' and more of a holiday camp approach with it's carvery, but we've always found it to be decent. BTW - Weighbridge at Alvechurch is a real gem - order food early as it's made in small batches and get's scrubbed off the blackboard over the bar as they run out!
  5. Interested in this thread as I might be doing Stourport ring also this Summer. I've seen many negative reviews of the Vine at Kinver on here in the past, but recent reviews on Google since the place has been 'under new management' are generally excellent. It would be great if this was reinstated as a recommended canal-side stop. Does anyone have any recent experience?
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  7. ah - yes - that would make sense - IIRC it's a little beyond the reservoir at the top of the flight. I will ponder no more...thanks!
  8. I've sometimes wondered why this lift was considered necessary? That lock is deep, but it's a simple/conventional solution as compared to the contraption in the picture. In the context of Tardebigge, even two locks, or a staircase would seem easier? Is it something about the terrain? I'm sure someone will explain....
  9. I use an old silicon sealant tube with top cut off. Arrange string down centre through a hole in centre of the plunger cap, pour in old wax (melted) from whatever source. When it's set just put into your sealant gun and push out a candle! Works really well, and you can repeat as required. They look like this...
  10. I have thought about this in considering boat purchase... Must admit - some of these walk-thru layouts can give the appearance that there is a toilet at one end of the sitting area or the bedroom space. I like the loo to be closed off, both for maintenance of access through the boat and for aesthetics. In fact, I think I prefer a toilet area that is hermetically sealed!!!
  11. Looks like a good trip to me! (As pointed out, that map doesn't really work don't follow it! - there is a spur down from Kings Norton to Stourport that should be replaced by a spur down from Lapworth to Stratford). I would certainly plan to stop in centre of Brum - it's an essential canal experience (in a good way) and centre is safe. Likewise, a night in Bancroft Basin (Stratford) is a memorable stop. Just a thought....You might want to consider going anti-clock. When doing a 'ring with a detour' like this, I tend to leave the detour part until later in the trip, because that's the section I can adjust if necessary to match circumstances and progress made at the time. Another thought.... If you begin to feel this is a bit too demanding, you could replace your trip down the Stratford with an easier detour up the Ashby. You could even make this decision a couple of days into the trip if you wanted to. The good news is there are around 8 million quite decent tourist attractions on your route. Ones I would visit are: Cape of Good Hope - Warwick Two Boats - Long Itchington Tom O'The Wood - Rowington (or alternatively Navigation Inn at Lapworth) Fleurs De Leys - Lowsonford Dirty Duck - Stratford Blue Bell Cider House - Earlswood Tap and Spile - Gas St Basin (but countless alternatives) Dog and Doublet - Bodymoor Heath Get busy on Canalplan and Google and get at least a rough idea of an itinerary. If you have a plan (some people don't believe in them, I know) then you can relax properly knowing that you are on schedule, or get a bit of a wriggle on if necessary. Enjoy.
  12. Agree with your sentiment, but sadly this is entirely at the discretion of the insurance company (in my experience!)
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  14. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  15. Just to update..... Matter was reported to ANT, who were very helpful. They said they would enter it in their log, and if it proved to be anything other than an isolated incident they would ask local police to take a wander that way at night. Just one week later I was coming out of Birmingham towards Shirley/Earlswood on the Stratford. As I passed under bridge 6 (Yardley Wood area) there were a couple of splashes in the water next to me, followed immediately by something pretty substantial bouncing off the deck next to my feet. I responded with some carefully crafted words and the bombardment ceased (I think I had probably reached the limit of their range). Such a shame - we had a great couple of weeks going around the Avon Ring again. I really cherish my annual chance to escape from the real world for a while. Seems the real world is intent upon following me and lobbing rocks at me!
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