Tuesday 26th March
We only stayed at Brewood overnight but Eileen took the short walk into the village. The village pronounced Brood dates back to 1350 and is an ancient market town, the entire market square is allegedly riddles with underground vaults and passages interconnecting the pubs and hotels around the square.
The landscape here is a mix of cuttings which are narrow in places and open fields, however we soon find ourselves passing under the busy M54. We pass the home of Napton boats and arrive at Autherley Junction an important and busy canal junction where the Shropshire Union Canal terminates and meets the much older Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. The stop lock only has a fall of around 6 inches, but the lock was insisted upon by the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal company to prevent the newer canal company stealing water from them!
We turn left at Autherley Junction towards Great Haywood, this is now a new canal for us having spent the whole of the winter on the Shropshire Union Canal. We pass some new housing before entering a very narrow cutting once known as Pendeford Rockin, here there is only room to pass at the designated passing places so we were grateful that we didn't meet any other boats. We moored up at Cross Green just a little way up from the Anchor Pub.
Wednesday 27th March
We leave Cross Green and head North towards Penkridge. This section of the canal is very rural and being a contour canal winds itself around the landscape. We soon pass Hatherton Marina and Hatherton Junction where the entrance of the former Hatherton Branch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal used to connect with the Birmingham Canal Navigations. We leave you here as we pass through Otherton Locks.