Yesterday evening was so nice we had a BBQ and we woke to a cool but pleasant morning. The plan was to cross the canal to fill with water and empty the rubbish, but a boat pulled in there just before we were about to set off, so we settled with just dumping the rubbish, then it was straight into Tardebigge Tunnel, this is mainly unlined rock and quite dry. This is a shot of the roof.Its not a very long tunnel and we were soon going past the Anglo Welch hire company, they had all their boats except one out on hire. A wasp decided it would devour some fellow insect on our roof, its the first time I have seen a wasp bring another insect down.
As we approached Shortwood Tunnel a boat was just coming out, it turned out to be a day hire boat from Alvechurch Marina, as you can see its fitted with twin LED lights as tunnel lights beaming straight ahead. You couldn’t even look straight towards it in daylight, let alone if you meet it in a tunnel. In my opinion they really are not fit for purpose and could be dangerous.
I am not a lover of slow down signs on boats but this one requesting dead slow made me smile. The next tunnel was a bit longer at nearly 2.5 Kilometres long. This is a brick lined tunnel with air vents that let the rain fall on you. I forgot to mention it was now raining heavily. Along the length of the tunnel on the roof there are electrical insulators. I don’t know if these were for an electrical overhead supply or maybe telephone wires.
As it was raining so hard when we left the tunnel we decided to moor for lunch just before Kings Norton Junction, you can see the letter M on the map indicating its a good mooring spot and even has rings. Somewhere between the tunnel and Kings Norton junction we passed this fence, I think it is to honour our NHS workers.In early 2019 there was a fire in the Toll house at Kingswood Junction and since then the building has been made weatherproof and hopefully secure, but there is still no sign of any refurbishment taking place.
Or initial plan was to stop at the Bournville moorings but it was just as well we didn’t carry on till there as one small cruiser and one Narrowboat had managed to take up all the space. As we had now had lunch it was on to Birmingham, I was hoping to see some activity on the restoration of the Lapal Canal but all that is visible is this new footbridge across the canal. On a positive note you can now access Sainsbury’s from the towpath via their covered carpark. We stopped for water at Granville Wharf but the tap was so slow we only took on a small amount and will fill tomorrow at Tipton. Emerging from Broad Street Tunnel the establishment on the right has installed dinning pods in their outside seating area, so you can be sure you are social distancing in one of them. Birmingham, canal wise is very quiet with very few moored boats, loads of spaced in Gas Street, Deepcut Junction and behind the Sea Life Centre which is one of our favourite moorings.
Todays Journey 16.75 miles, 3 tunnels in 5.25 hours Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/