Last night we ate in The Boot pub and it was the best meal we have had out this month
We only heard one boat go by before we set off at 9 am which was a surprise as I was expecting boats leaving the rally this morning to come this way. The boats moored ahead of us had left which included “nb. Oakfield”
The first two locks were against us, but as we cleared the first we spotted a boat coming down so that changed things round putting all the locks with us. We met boats quite regularly as we made our way up to Kings Norton Junction. Some of the residents are not to keen to have boats moored by their property but when they buy a house by the canal they don’t buy the towpath as well.
There are three lift bridges along this canal, two of them are manually operated where you turn a handle on a hydraulic pump which jacks the bridge open, the first one was very hard work to lift. The second is also hydraulic but much better balanced, if anything it required more effort to lower it.
But the third is electric and its just a matter of pressing a button to stop the traffic and raise the bridge.
We stopped to fill with water by bridge 5 and while Diana was filling the tank I took the opportunity to delve down the weed hatch and remove some black polly and string from around the propeller shaft.
We pushed on to the end of the North Stratford canal through Brandwood tunnel where the tunnel light decided it wouldn’t light any longer so Diana stood in the bows with an LED torch, I couldn’t see with it, but boats coming the other way could see us, without it they wouldn’t know which way we were going.
At Kings Norton Junction and turned right on the Worcester and Birmingham canal towards Birmingham. On the junction stands an old navigation authority house, these are quite common on junctions and are designed so that the occupants can see in all directions from the windows
We will be travelling through Birmingham tomorrow, but now we needed to find a safe mooring for the night. A couple of miles from the junction is the Bourneville Chocolate factory and as they are open to the public they often get holiday makers on boats visiting. Holiday boats moored outside the factory became a magnet for the local thieves and vandals so British Waterways created a mooring on the opposite side of the canal and to access it on foot you require a British Waterways key that all boaters have. The moorings are just long enough for three average length Narrowboats and there were two here already with a bit of a gap between them, but we have just managed to squeeze on the end by lifting our back fender.
Overall its been a good run today, some 9 hours with just a short stop for water and Diana to buy some fresh fruit. It started with blue sky and sunshine but clouded over about lunch time looking like rain, but thankfully that never arrived.