Day 37 – Too many locks

I may have lost count, and still haven’t managed to buy a Trent & Mersey guidebook to confirm but today started with the Wheelock flight of eight locks, followed by six locks in three pairs then a flight of 10 ending at the Red Bull CRT service station (and Red Bull pub). I think that’s 24 locks.

Many of today’s locks had the original split, cantilevered bridges over the downhill end of the lock. These were originally installed to facilitate towlines on horsedrawn boats, and later used by motor boats towing butties. These days hardly anyone uses them but they are useful for solo boaters bow hauling their boat in to the lock to avoid the long slimy climb up the lock ladder. Unfortunately many bridge halves have drooped closing the gap, and even where they have remained separate BW/CRT have installed new hand rails without splits (see photo).

Split Bridge, Silly Handrail

After climbing out of so many deep locks up slimy lock ladders I was tired and filthy so I had a shower got changed and treated myself to a steak & ale pie and pint at the Red Bull. Good choice. We’ve had a few light showers during the day but within minutes of me getting back into Seren after dinner it started pouring down.

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