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