The day started well with a peaceful nights mooring, before leaving we had to check that Lesley’s cat wasn’t onboard, it decided to adopt us and the boat last night creeping in at any opportunity and check that everything was closed up early this morning.This was my view as I looked back to the moorings as we turned out onto the canal again.The first strike of the gremlins was at Moors Lane bridge, completely blocked by a floating island of reeds, I gently pushed this away before we continued on our way to the first lock, No. 8. In the entrance to the lock I picked up a quilted jacket on the prop, complete with zip, just to bind it on the shaft. This was removed in the lock in the jet black smelly water.
One for the historians, can you tell me why they would have installed this bollard under the railway bridge just below lock 8.Lock 6 looks as it could possibly be a contender for an ISSS listing with the amount of habitat growing on the walls.A normal trouble spot is Wellington Bridge where the kid throw the shopping trollies off, I have know a reef right across the canal so you couldn’t get a boat through, but today as we approached they had just finished grappling them out and taking them away. It must cost the store a fortune.
Above lock 6 the pound was very low, and I only just cleared the cill, a lock full of water from 5 helped as I really didn’t want to let anything down and rob the pounds above. This was the only set of stairs that I spotted on the flight, I wonder if at one time there would have been a set at every lock.I don’t remember which lock this was but its the third one we have seen this trip that has been treated to first aid in this way, still its better than the lock being out of action. Overall I must say I found the locks and canal in much better shape than I did last time I cam this way. I think its because most of the old derelict yards have been repurposed and fenced off, its made the play ground less attractive to the kiddie winks. Just before we reached Pudding Green Junction we met a boat heading in the opposite direction, he would have found all the lock with him hopefully. At the junction we turned right on the new main line meeting yet another boat just before Albion Junction where we turned left up the Brades Hall Locks. I have never noticed how intricate this Temple “Venkateswara” building is before. Its worth clicking the link and looking at their web page.
At the junction we join the old main line, turning right towards Tipton. By now it was raining hard (did I mention it started raining coming up Riders Green Locks), the tiller and rudder were juddering and progress was getting slower, so I stopped under Dudley Road bridge and removed a load of polly mixed with twigs and a length of gold braid for good measure, much easier working in the clear water where you can see what you are dealing with. With that off things progressed much better. At Tipton Junction it was left to the services just before Dudley Tunnel Trust building where we disposed of the polly and filled with water, winding in the arm leading to the Black Country Museum before heading into Tipton to moor again at John the Locks moorings.
Today’s Journey 8 miles, 11 locks in 5 hours.Map courtesy of Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/