Explorer Day 4 - A trip to the beach
The canals in the north of Birmingham were built predominantly to convey coal from the mines of Cannock Chase to the industries of Birmingham and London. Yesterday we came up the Tame Valley Canal which was a latecomer to the BCN being built in the 1840s as a short cut to the Grand Junction and thence to London. It connected with the existing canal network via the Daw End Branch at Longwood, where the boat club is now housed in the redundant stub arm and the old stables. Before heading off towards Anglesey Basin this morning we went to a get a bacon roll from a breakfast van we found last night. Unfortunately he had exhausted his gas supply and could not cook anything.
Despite this setback we set off to the other end of the Daw End Branch where we were due to have a BBQ. Most boats made a detour to Tesco at Brownhills first to buy disposable BBQ kits and meat to cremate. And so we passed this panel at Catshill Jct twice which was fortunate as we missed photographing it the first time.
The Daw End Branch terminates at Anglesey Basin where a large reservoir feeds the canal system (when there is no blue/green algae present). One could imagine being in the other Anglesey .
There is some evidence of the coal trade; the remains of chutes for transferring coal from lorries to narrowboats. Prior to this, H was telling us he could remember the coal being brought by train and conveyed across the canal on a vibrating belt which graded the coal and filled four boats moored side by side.
As we cold not all moor together there were three BBQ parties -
The Cut Above;
The Half Cut
and the Round the Bend groups.