Tuesday 17 November


Gnossal Heath Village Pump

With  Radio 4 forecasting bad weather this morning we decided to head back to Newport on the bus to see if we could pick up any bargains at Brefell’s weekly household auction.  There were plenty of bargains to be had but the lots were quite big and not conducive to narrowboat living.


Our mooring at Gnossal Heath

The local weather app on our phones suggested there was a window of sunny weather from 1.30pm before the arrival of Storm Barney and so we decided to move on to Norbury.  We travelled along the mighty Shelmore Embankment; a mile long and 18m high.  During its construction it caused endless grief to Thomas Telford as it was an enormous task to shift millions of cubic feet of earth to build the bank and while the contractors struggled to complete it, the bank slipped and collapsed time and time again and took about six years solid work to complete it.  Flood gates were erected at each end to close the canal in case of a breach and during WW2 these were closed each night as a precaution against bombing.


By late afternoon Storm Barney was making itself known and the strong gusts were buffeting us about on our mooring and we were glad we’d moved away from under tall trees to seek some shelter beside a hedge.

After tea we went to The Navigation.  It was very quiet, with just two other drinkers in there and I don’t think they’d gone to find companionship as neither spoke and instead buried their heads in their newspapers!


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