Saturday, 5 April

After a good night’s sleep we woke to a dry morning and Max & I went off to review the river level. The flood indicator board was showing that the water had dropped about a foot overnight and, although still in the red, the amber marker was visible two inches below the water line.   By Tuesday, the level should be back in the green provided there is no more rain.

I bundled together our dirty laundry as the CRT sanitary station here includes both a washing machine and a tumble drier.   While waiting for our load to finish, we popped to the nearby Tesco superstore and bought some fresh veg and our favourite Saturday paper. We were last in Stourport in 2010 and the superstore wasn’t here then. I’d got a couple of money off vouchers to spend that meant that this morning’s bill came to 65p.

We dropped the shopping back to the boat and with about 50 minutes left before we needed to retrieve our washing, we headed back along the towpath where we spotted the first ever Stillwater built boat, Lutra Lutra. There was no sign of life on board and we continued on our way.

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We reached Mitton Church Bridge where there is a graveyard with the footprint of a now demolished chapel visible in the grass, and where, within the ruins of the original parish church, the newly built Parish Church sits. They were holding an open day to encourage visitors to the new church and we were invited in for a coffee and to look around and were made to feel very welcome (even Max). Two of the volunteers had once enjoyed a life afloat but have now returned to a house on dry land having swapped their narrowboat for a motor home.

After a while we excused ourselves and went to retrieve our washing, and for the first time this year we were able to hang it out to dry in the sunshine.

We then set off again to browse Stourport’s shops.  We bought an ice-cream from the tea-rooms that occupy the old stables beside the canal basin and sat on a bench outside the old Tontine Hotel (now a luxury flat complex) to enjoy the view over the locks towards the river and observe two boats travelling up stream. They appeared to have ignored the red flood warnings that render any insurance void.

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