Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A brilliant day and good deeds ...

(Tuesday) Just the same as yesterday … as we were about to untie the ropes ...
… a boat comes past!
… old working boat Aquila - built by Harland and Wolff in 1935 exactly the same as Corona which coincidentally was the one that past us yesterday!  Not only that, a hire boat went past too!
We waited a while before leaving our mooring at 09:30 to give them chance to get through the first of today’s locks …
… but when we got to Minworth bottom lock Aquila was on the landing.  They were having problems getting the boat into the lock as the bottom gate would not completely open.  He asked if he could stand on our counter to try to move rubbish from the gate recess with his boat hook.  After a few attempts the gate seemed to open further and we ascended the lock and left them to it.
Whilst stopped at the Minworth services Aquila cruised past us so we were pleased with our good deed of the day.
Into Erdington Hall Tunnel … and out again ... looking back it doesn’t look half as impressive as its name!

Hugh power house as we cruise through Neachells …

… and scum on the water

Approaching Salford Junction ...

… we need the second turning on our left

Straight ahead leads onto the Tame Valley Canal but it doesn’t look very well used.

First left goes through Birmingham and onto the Grand Union Canal … we’ll be able to come up to Birmingham on WB Still Rockin ...
… and second left under Salford Turnover Bridge … there’s a boat coming through the narrows!

Our turn ...

A lovely old ornate bridge crosses the river (Tame?) below

A lot of men digging a hole in the towpath, as we cruised we saw these holes very half mile or so but have no idea what they’re for.

Doesn’t have quite the same ring  or views as Canary Wharf!
Getting closer to Birmingham now
A queue at Aston Bottom Lock where we were caught in quite a prolonged shower of ash from what sounded like a building site over a high wall on our right and was the cause of the ‘scum’ we’d seen on the water earlier.  It was hoods up and don’t let it get into your eyes - it wasn’t very nice at all.
Looking up Aston Locks in the bright sunshine
The top few locks of the Aston flight I found quite unusual with  huge pounds (stretch water between 2 locks)

Our original idea was to moor up for the night at Aston Junction but when we arrived we decided it wasn’t such a good idea.  A hire boat that had been following us caught us up as we were discussing whether there was enough time to continue up the Farmers Bridge Lock flight.  I asked them how far they were going and they told me that they were going up to Gas Street and continued on to the first lock, I asked if they would help us by opening a sluice as they left each lock and they agreed - Brilliant!

There was Mum and Dad ...

… and 3 young teenagers ...

… and between them they not only opened the sluice for us but the gate as well!

It was now just after 5pm and the sun was amazing on the water and the buildings …

… as we continued to climb into Birmingham with such fantastic help from that family and also the lady in red you can see here who also helped by closing gates after I’d entered the locks.
Top Lock at last after 8 hours, 8 miles and 29 locks!
We found a peaceful safe mooring at Brindley Place on the Oozells Loop, tired but happy and hungry and very grateful for all the help we'd received from strangers.  George went out on a mission to find a take-a-way and came back with the best chicken and chips we’ve ever tasted!
What a brilliant day!!


  1. Sounds like a epic journey, with lovely photos. As a Brummie I have yet to take the boat through central Brum, Enjoy your time there. Happy Cruising Jacquie

    1. Hi Jaquie, you need to put Birmingham on your list of must visits, once in the centre it’s great, the only thing I’d say is mind where your moor up on the way in. Keep up the good work. xx

  2. Sounds like a very long day but the chicken and chips must have made up for it. Glad you are both okay, no more samples yet but hey! Keep taking the photos, I look every evening and always love what you've taken. Talk to you soon. Love. xxxx