Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Explorer Day 2 - The Glorious Twelfth?
Yesterday was such a scorching day some of us stopped early to enjoy the weather in a more supine attitude than possible whilst operating a narrowboat through Birmingham.
This may not have been the best decision we will make this week.
Today started less bright and by nine o'clock had decided on drizzle followed by drizzle, light rain (that's met office jargon), more drizzle and then more drizzle. By lunch time even the clouds were getting fed up with it and drifted away to play somewhere else whilst we started to dry out.
For the splinter group who moored at the Aston Science Park the miserable weather was exacerbated by have to descend six locks before joining the goody-goodies at Degbeth. Brenda's careful planning had 20 locks on day one and 18 on day two. The Science Parkers thus modified this to 14 on day one (in the sun) and 24 on day two (in the rain).
From Digbeth we turned up the Birmingham and Warwick Jct canal through Warwick Bar - one of these stop locks to prevent water from one canal inadvertently leaking into the canal of a rival company. This is close to an old FMC building.
At Bordesley Jct we turned left and descended the Garrison Locks to Salford Jct again.
Those of you who are paying attention may have noticed that on day one the journey from Salford Jct to Digbeth included eleven locks up and six down; whereas on day two this only required descending six locks. Such are the wonders of geography and engineering. If we had taken the time to walk around the Digbeth area we might have come across this wonderful pissotiere which is on the junction of Great Barr St and Fazeley St.

I suspect it is really Le Tardis of Medicin Qui

At the Salford jct cross roads we now take the Tame Valley canal which as its name suggests follows the valley of the river Tame (as in Tam(e)worth) but despite its rural name the motor traffic noise from the M6 and its subordinates accompanied us until we reached our mooring for the night at the top of Perry Bar locks. Passage up these 13 locks was improved by boat crews draining each lock as they left it in preparation for the next boat. The boats were augmented by John W who had cycled from somewhere in Brum to assist with the gates and paddles. Unusual locks here -the water sluices fill the lock at both ends simultaneously

Perry Bar Locks

Moored together tonight!

After mooring we had a short walk round the neighbourhood and came across a former cinema of 1930s vintage. Whilst the architecture was unremarkable there was some interesting decoration in the brickwork.

Only nine locks tomorrow!!

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