We started off on a cool fine day, but it wasn’t long before
the sun was out and things started to warm up, unfortunately this afternoon it
was back to rain.
We went about half an hour down the Staffordshire and
Worcestershire canal until we reached Aldersley Junction where we turned sharp
left to climb the Wolverhampton 21 locks. We were very pleased to find the
first lock empty, this meant there was no one going up ahead so all the locks
should be with us. After 3 locks a chap came towards us with a windlass just as
we were leaving the lock, he was setting the locks in readiness for the ex
working boat Bellatrix. This was even better news as all the ponds were full of
water and all the locks would have been emptied this morning, so not half full
due to overnight leakage. We didn’t meet any other boats in the flight and only
one lock needed about 6” of water draining from it. We saw the group walk
passed in both directions, the "Supervisor" was carrying a spade, the
rest litter pickers. I think they may have been on community service.
see how nice the weather was this morning with the warm sun and light breeze.
At lock 15 we found the C&RT volunteer store complete with volunteers, they
told me that they were keeping the flight clean and smart, I couldn't argue
with that, even the paddle gear was well greased.
Half way up the flight Diana pointed out this works with its
raised clerestory roof, I wonder how many more like this are about.
reached the top of the flight, it had taken us two hours and forty minutes with
Diana doing virtually all the work as my back is still not 100%. This old
British Waterways sign is still at the top lock, I wonder if anyone will be
moved to paint roses on a blue, plastic C&RT one, I doubt it.
Almost as soon
as we left the locks it started raining and 10 minutes later I met the second
boat of the day, I was in the bridge when the came round the bend , a couple of
seconds later they would have been right up to the bridge so that worked well.
C&RT have a trailable boat that they use for surveying waterways etc, I
wonder how often that fully caged prop gets clogged with rubbish.
We pushed on
and almost at Tipton someone has cleared this section of offside bank, I
decided to photograph it and picked the camera up, suddenly I thought there was
someone sitting there and put the camera down again. This is what it was.
pushed on to moor in Tipton for the night, we decided not to use John the Locks
mooring but be Bill no mates on the towpath side.
10.25 miles, 21 locks in 5 hours.
Map courtesy of
Waterway Routes https://www.waterwayroutes.co.uk/
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