Last night was spent in Whitchurch. Well, near Whitchurch, as the canal is a good 25 minutes walk away up a hill. It needs to be worth such a slog.
There is a navigable arm beckoning in the direction of Whitchurch, but this ends after a short distance. This was restored in the 1990s, but the ambitious plans to extend it further along its old course towards the town, have never found the funds. It's a forlorn promise of what might have been.
The advance party (First Mate) was sent into town on a reconnaissance mission. The texts arriving back at the boat indicated that she was not impressed. She reported that two dog friendly pubs were
not doing food, places were closed and that there was only so much time she could linger in the musky odours of the charity shops. Then there were the three over heard conversations: one involving a stretch in prison; another at the chemists interrogating someone's prescription for Prosac and then the consolation of a grieving widower. All of these contributed to her feeling the presence of the black dog of depression.
But I wonder whether Whitchurch ever held the charm to captivate First Mate? Perhaps if it still had a nice haberdashery, milliners or hosier, this would have kept her from the Devil's water a little longer. I headed up towards The White Bear where I found her with a drink and a free internet connection.
After a swift pint, we walked back finding a quite unexpected excellent dinner for all of us at The Black Bear.
Today we cleared the nonsense of the Grindley Brook locks, and The Horse and Jockey is where we go tonight.