Sunday, 2 August 2009

Knowle to Brum

Sunday 2nd August 2009
Woke up to a glorious morning, and set off early(ish - 8:15). We were surprised by how green and attractive the route into Birmingham was. The maps in Nicholson's guide show housing and warehouses from soon after Catherine de Barnes, but we were passing through attractive wooded cutting most of the way. Having said that, there was huge amounts of debris in the cut at times.

Passing near to Tyseley, I heard a whistle and the steam locomotive Kinlet Hall sped over the canal shortly ahead of the boat. Daft, I know, but this simple thing made me really happy - I was jumping up and down and waving at the passengers on the train.

We arrived at the Camp Hill flight at about 11:00 am, and got to the top of the Farmer's Bridge flight - a total of 24 locks - about 3 and a half hours later. We've now done the Farmer's Bridge flight several times, and it never ceases to amaze us - parts really are quite surreal.

This lock is underneath an office block, going from this lock to the next we had to cross with another (fortunately short) boat - it's hard to imagine how they managed to get two 70 foot boats to cross in the past. The water to the left of the lock is the pound between each lock.

Shunting past another boat - short tunnel ahead.

Half way up the flight you pass the foot of the Birmingham Telecom Tower, which can be seen as a landmark for many miles.

Alan takes a picture of me from the lock inside the short tunnel - David is lockwheeling.

These lovely people watched us intently through the lock - it turns out that they are Danish, and start a narrowboat holiday tomorrow - which explains why they were watching so closely.

At the top of the Farmer's Bridge flight - Telecom tower in the background.

We quickly found a place to moor, and went shopping as well as going for a coffee and a wander around the area surrounding Brindley Place. Birmingham has masses of very attractive floral displays.

The design for this trip boat seems to have been done by someone having a migraine attack.

In the evening we went out for a meal near to Gas Street Basin.

Miles: 13.7, Locks: 24
Total Miles: 103.7 , Total Locks: 120

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