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  1. The installation manual for a Morso 1412 "Squirrel" stove can be downloaded from https://morsoe.com/media/com_hikashop/upload/safe/72146800_-_1400_n-en_uk_-_defra_1826145192.pdf Page 5 states "The smoke hood must not be fitted if the stove is installed on a boat where the flue height is likely to be less than 4.5M." There is also a diagram on Page 5 Item 1 is the smoke hood
  2. The Post Office may consider this part of Wolverley, but it's a long way from the canal and the only way anyone one on a one week cruise from Countrywide Cruisers would find themselves in this area is if they were Russian agents posing as holidaymakers and having nefarious plans for other activities. If urgent supplies are needed, then pull in just before Cookley tunnel, walk up a steep path to the road over the tunnel and there's a Tesco Express virtually in front of you.
  3. If you find you are ahead of schedule on the way back, take a detour at Stourton Junction to Stourbridge. It's a pleasant bit of canal. I used to moor at Ashwood marina and take friends on day trips down the Stourbridge arm. The winding hole is right at the end of the arm and is just a cut out in the bank inbetween moored boats. You have to have faith that when you get to the end you'll be able to turn the boat.
  4. You've probably changed the engine oil by now, but if you are going to do it yourself in the future do look at the Morris lubricants site. You can contact them to ask questions about oil suitability https://www.morrislubricants.co.uk/products/mar/classic-engine-oils/golden-film-sae-10w-40-classic-marine-oil.html
  5. I agree, the South Oxford would be a good choice. Although if you hire from around Napton you will within an hour have th navigate the Napton lock flight. I would also look at the Staffs & Worcs canal. This is an early contour canal, the locks are generally spread out and very pretty. It also has the much photographed Bratch locks https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/places-to-visit/the-bratch and a staircase pair at Botterham locks. Napton Narrowboats run from Autherly Junction where the Staffs & Worcs ant the Shropshire union meet. They have a two berth Elite 2 boat that can be hired for short breaks https://www.napton-marina.co.uk/boats/finder/index.php Or Countrywide Cruisers hire Sir Ironside for short breaks, this also has a solid fuel stove to keep you toasty https://www.countrywide-cruisers.co.uk/sir-ironside/ I'd buy the Nicholson guides for the relevant canals to have a look at the route descriptions and lock frequency. You'll need to buy ay least three books to cover the canals already mentioned Book 1 for the Oxford canal "Grand Union Oxford and the South East" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grand-Union-Oxford-South-East/dp/0008146527/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3D0YDF7DIPRCI&keywords=nicholson+guides&qid=1573046165&sprefix=nicholsons+guides%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-3 Book 2 for the lower Staffs & Worcs canal "Severn Avon & Birmingham" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Severn-Avon-Birmingham-Waterways-Nicholson/dp/0008258015/ref=sr_1_6?crid=3D0YDF7DIPRCI&keywords=nicholson+guides&qid=1573046165&sprefix=nicholsons+guides%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-6 Book 4 for the Shropshire Union and upper Staffs & Worcs canal "Four Counties & the welsh canals" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Four-Counties-Welsh-Canals-Waterways/dp/0008309388/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3D0YDF7DIPRCI&keywords=nicholson+guides&qid=1573046165&sprefix=nicholsons+guides%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-1 OR if yo do not want the Shropshire Union and do want the Ashby canal and upper Staffs & Worcs don't buy book 4 but buy book 3 "Birmingham and the heart of England" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birmingham-Heart-England-Waterways-Nicholson-ebook/dp/B07C6LF7TG/ref=sr_1_4?crid=3D0YDF7DIPRCI&keywords=nicholson+guides&qid=1573046165&sprefix=nicholsons+guides%2Caps%2C145&sr=8-4
  6. In the UK there is a public holiday Monday 25 May 2020 and the schools are closed for that week. Hire prices seem to go up in that week and availability goes down. As has been said, Napton Narrowboats run from Autherley junction which is a taxi ride from Wolverhampton railway station. Their Elite fleet have an open rear desk with seating, is has no sides to shield the wind, but maybe more comfortable and no sides to concentrate any engine noise. http://www.napton-marina.co.uk/index.php A few miles from there is Countrywide cruisers which have semi-trad sterns https://www.countrywide-cruisers.co.uk
  7. If you aren’t aware of the website, have a look at www.seat61.com
  8. If anyone wants background reading on dam maintenance and dam failure modes then this article may help https://theconversation.com/whaley-bridge-dam-collapse-is-a-wake-up-call-concrete-infrastructure-will-not-last-forever-without-care-121423?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest from The Conversation for August 6 2019 - 1378412962&utm_content=Latest from The Conversation for August 6 2019 - 1378412962+CID_5297a4ab137226a953fbbb5821b829d5&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Whaley Bridge dam collapse is a wake-up call concrete infrastructure will not last forever without care The article contains links including to The British Dam Society and a link to data of dam failures in the UK and worldwide
  9. An interesting court report concerning the Vine Inn, lockside on the Staffs & Worcs canal at Kinver. The food hygiene doesn't look too good. https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/staffordshire/south-staffordshire/2019/07/12/dirty-and-dangerous-the-conditions-found-at-this-village-pub/
  10. OK. Perhaps I should have phrased it differently. But the OP is coming from Canada and is doing the Stourport ring over eleven days in June when the days are long. I did the ring a few years ago hiring from Brewood in an October when the days are much shorter and completed it in a “hirers week” (six and a half days) although we used most of the daylight that was available, so the OP should have lots of available cruising time and the Wolverhampton route gives more flexibility. I would say that the Stourton / Dudley route into Birmingham is industrial except for the short initial stretch from Stourton junction to the junction with the Stourbridge arm which is very pretty. I can understand why you find this route preferable. The route to Birmingham from the top of the Wolverhampton 21 is also industrial but with an eleven day holiday and only one chance to experience the Staffs & Worcs from Stourton onwards, I would go via the S&W and Wolverhampton 21. As a boat owner who has experienced both routes, as opposed to a one-off holiday trip like the OP, then the choice may be different. I was born in Wordsley, walked to school every day past the blacksheds and the Stourbridge lock flight, was an apprentice at a factory on the Fenns branch, my wife worked in the local glass industry and we still live in the area so perhaps I see things through different eyes.
  11. I would not go via Dudley, it is a much more industrial route. I’d continue along the Staffs & Worcs. Its more scenic, including Bratch locks. It also gives more flexibility with timing. As you are going clockwise, by the time you reach Aldersley junction at the bottom of the Wolverhampton 21 most of the trips locks and the river section has been done, so if you have a couple of days spare you can divert up the Shropshire union, maybe to Brewood.
  12. Well I enjoyed it. The lack of music is a huge positive point for me. I also like the BBC Four programs that have a similar format ie little or no commentary. There was a one hour "Flying Scotsman from the footplate" program showing a trip on the Severn Valley Railway, and a three hour program on The Ghan which travels from Adelaide to Darwin, the actual trip takes 54 hours. Just thought I'd comment on Mike's film as there didn't seem much response to the thread.
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  15. You will probably want to refill the water tank every day. This can take over half an hour per boat, especially if you like to have long showers, so the point already made about thinking of yourselves as four individual boats is very valid, otherwise you will be hanging around water points for at least two hours a day, with four boats having to fill up.
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