Canal Boat - - The Cruise Guide -

AUDLEM MILL, once a corn and an­i­mal feed mill, is now one of the finest canal and wa­ter­way book shops in the coun­try. There is also a wide se­lec­tion of gifts with canal themes in­clud­ing canal paint­ings. The first floor is ded­i­cated to needle­work and the mill reg­u­larly stages ex­hi­bi­tions. of the now derelict New­port Branch, lead­ing to the Shrews­bury Canal. The first few yards re­main in wa­ter, used for moor­ings and a dry dock. Be­yond, the canal with its long flight of locks is pro­posed for restora­tion. Prac­ti­cal work is now un­der way, so one day boats may reach Shrews­bury again. Mean­while, Norbury Wharf is a busy boat­ing cen­tre with a main­te­nance yard, boat­yard, hire-fleet, café and pub.

A long line of moor­ings leads into the deep Grub Street Cut­ting, fes­tooned with drip­ping veg­e­ta­tion and a high bridge that sup­ports an old tele­graph pole. Be­yond is the iso­lated An­chor Inn at High Of­fley, which, con­trary to some re­cent ru­mours, is still open for busi­ness.

Sheb­don Em­bank­ment leads to Knighton Wharf and the old Cad­bury fac­tory, opened in 1911, which col­lected milk from the many dairy farms in the area. The com­pany had its own fleet of nar­row­boats to carry choco­late crumb to the Bournville works. Most fa­mous was Mendip cap­tained by leg­endary boat­man ‘Choco­late Char­lie’ Atkins. The last cargo was car­ried in 1961 and now the fac­tory makes pow­dered drink­ing choco­late and other dried milk prod­ucts.

The canal con­tin­ues through open farm­ing coun­try­side with wide views to

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