June 23rd 2011 Stampeding cattle and canal rescue

According to our schedule we were aiming for bridge number 83 today.  At the beginning of our journey we passed through the new bridge where the Armitage tunnel used to run before it’s roof was removed in 1971 to combat the subsidence effects of coal being mined nearby.  The notice says you must send a crew member ahead so that they can stop a boat from entering whilst you are going through, since there is only room for one boat to go through.  So Sheila walked ahead as instructed and all went well. Norwyn even tried out the headlamp which will be needed for the Harecastle Tunnel later in the week.

Haywood junction scene of the rescue

the old tunnel at Armitage

 We stopped at Rugeley town and discovered that Morrisons was just over the bridge and so we bought the alcoholic supplies required for the weekend.

It was at Haywood lock where things got a bit scary.  The farmer was trying to separate the cows from their calves and they appeared not to be amused.  Some of them were being guided over the bridge which we had to cross from the lock moorings up to the lock.  Luckily Sheila was safely behind the gate and at the lockside (along with the other ladies) when the cows made such a rumpus and ran over the bridge. Much worse than anything which has happened on Bungay common!!!!

Having passed Shugborough Hall we got through the next lock without incident and were heading for the watering point at Haywood junction  when a man asked us if we could pull a boat off which had got stuck on a mud bank.   Captain Norwyn to the rescue.  We pulled alongside tha boat and managed to hook their back rope onto our stern bollard and pulled her backwards into the clear water.  The people were very grateful but it left us in a very precarious position nearly into the reeds ourselves.  However Norwyn gained control and soon we were on the water point.

Finally we moored at bridge number 83, went for a walk and settled down for the night.  We hope tomorrow will be quieter as we head for Stone.

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