... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Droitwich is SO bracing!

Day 4 - Stourport-on-Severn to Droitwich

Having had a great evening in the splendid Hollybush, we were up bright and early to set off onto the river. The weather was freezing, blowing a gale, with sleet and the occasional flurry of snow for good measure. So we all got soaked and frozen in the course of the journey, but nothing actually went wrong. The river was well behaved and scenically rather dull, but then we only saw a small stretch of it. The Droitwich Barge Canal is of course a miracle of restoration and one mustn't be churlish, but I really do wish they hadn't seen fit to surface the towpath with coarse, sharp grit, that gets walked all over the boat and worst of all gets into the ropes making them horrible to handle.

First impressions of Droitwich... Well it probably isn't fair, but here goes anyway. We are currently on the (gritty) towpath outside the basin, four feet out from the bank, awaiting Harbourmasterly organisation. The town centre is theoretically not far away, but it looks it. It is, on first viewing, all a bit bleak. The weather is not going to help as it is forecast to be dull, windy and bloody cold up to and through the weekend. The rain might stop though, so maybe that will feel better.

We do actually have quite a busy programme of events to amuse us, once the weekend starts, and access to the Working Men's Club which is standing in for a beer tent (just as well as it might be a bit warmer). On Friday we have a talk about the restoration of the Droitwich canals, with two different guided walks on Saturday (neither of which I have signed up for); film shows, 'tat' auction, quiz, and an organ recital at a local church. I shall probably go to all of them except the walk.

Right now though, I think I had better clean up some grit.


  1. Are we not always told that it was the grit picked up by wet towlines which wore the ubiquitous grooves in stone- and ironwork? Annoying though it is, one imagines that towpaths of a couple of centuries ago must have been - in places - churned to a muddy quagmire by horses' hoofs. I know what I'd rather walk on! Or were they all laid with hardcore where they weren't paved?

  2. I have to say it was a fair bit "posher" than our usual choice of evening eating out when boating, but last August when in Droitwich we enjoyed an excellent meal at a place called, I think, Rossini. Back then, at least it offered an automatic 20% discount to anybody waving a BW "Watermate" key at them, presumably exploiting the opening of the canal through route. Whether that is still the case, I have no idea, but we enjoyed going a bit upmarket for one evening.

  3. We have just had a very good evening at the Gardeners Arms. Only Jennings Cumberland and Banks's bitter to drink but excellent service and some really nice food - Wednesday's special was vegetarien meze and you could see (and taste) that some trouble had really gone into it. The standard menu looked very good too. Also to try is the Hop Pole - supposed to be good for beer and again, very reasonable home cooked food, but only 12-2.

  4. You could well be right about the grit Halfie - I'm sure they had tougher hands than me.

  5. how is Willow getting on with the travelling? I was wondering how you got on in all that grim weather.

  6. Willow was complaining loudly about being kept inside - we all told him he didn't know where he was well off!

  7. I agree with you,inside was the best place to be in that lot