Hopwood to Cambrian Basin, Birmingham
9.25 miles, 0 locks
We set off with brilliant blue skies - we hoped it would stay dry and bright
I have lost count of the times we have been past the imposing Toll House at Kings Norton Junction and it would appear that the only photo I have of it is this one
Wikipedia came up with a better one
Imagine our surprise to find it looking like this as we went past today
I gather that there was a major fire here in February and due its remote location the only way the firefighters could get near was to carry all their equipment and then take water from the canal. I wonder what the future holds for this 200 year old historic building?
The purple paint is a bit of a giveaway -
it can only be Bournville Station
Much to our surprise there was a space on the offside visitor moorings at Bournville
We did not take advantage, but just sailed on past the Cadbury Factory
In, where else but, Bournville. I did visit the factory once with family, but the very young grandchild was (understandably) rather more interested in the freebies and the show (it was quite good) than in the history. Maybe we need to go back one day in a term time weekday? But then again.....
On past the QE Hospital where Chris had his cataract op earlier this year
Over the Selly Oak aqueduct which, I think, opened in early 2011. Before our time of boating round here, so I have no idea what it was like before the new road was built.
This has to be an urban heron - it made no attempt to move as we sailed past
Last time we came through Edgbaston Tunnel they were still widening the towpath - it is now complete, so just one way working through this very short tunnel
With a much enlarged towpath - thankfully the lack of headroom still seems to slow the cyclists down.
We stopped at the services near the Mailbox and Chris filled and emptied whilst I popped to Tesco Express - the tap is painfully slow!
Monty was looking out for me when I got back
Through The Worcester Bar
and past Gas Street Basin
there was mooring available at the far end, however, there is no grass there for our four legged friend
There was a C&RT boat collecting rubbish from the canal - he had quite a boat full
Our mooring of choice is Cambrian Wharf - was that a space we could see? Well the permanent mooring sign seemed to be on the left of the pontoon,
so we went for it. Chris did check with one of the residents (I gather there are four of them) and we were correct in our assumptions that this side of the pontoon is for visitors.
So why was this visit timely? In a chance email about nothing in particular to Patrick and Angela (nb Chouette) who we met in July 2014 when we did the first Wash Crossing from Kings Lynn to Boston - See Here, I mentioned our itinerary to them. Angela replied that they would be in Birmingham as they were attending a couple of concerts and could they come and 'rattle our cage'? We love being rattled! We spent an hour or so catching up and enjoying tea and marmalade cake.
They mentioned that Sola Gratia with Tracy and Tim were moored round the corner, so as they left we wandered off to see if we could find them - and yes we succeeded.
Tim was off at B&M buying large plastic crates - he arrived just before we left. They are rather busy as they have taken over the 'Dog Boat' business as the people who used to run the business are taking their boat to Ireland for a while. I know we have seen the boat (they have two Golden Retrievers) and I am pretty certain it was in Gloucester, but I am afraid I cannot remember what the boat name was.
Tracy is making dog tug toys, so if you have any of the items listed below, please pass them on to her
We knew that Debby and Dave on nb Chuffed might be in Birmingham and lo and behold they were moored next to Sola Gratia. A quick catch up with them and Meg before we headed back to the boat
On our walkabout we spotted (well you can hardly miss it!) a rather large lego giraffe. I have always thought that building these sort of things must be a fun job.
We wandered to Brindley Place just to see where we fancied eating that evening only to find that apart from All Bar One and Cafe Rouge they were all shut
A very empty Pizza Express
Where had all the water gone? We gather that around 09:30 that morning someone had dug through the water main in Broad Street. We went to have a look and found that at gone 18:00 it twas still a hive of activity. Whoever caused the 'Broad Street Burst' did a very good job! I wonder how long it was before they could all go home?
Water was still flowing freely
There were pumps
and the excess water was being taken away in large tankers. As they moved this one out it meant that
meant the traffic emerging from the road opposite was halted. There was a lot of horns blaring - presumably from those who had no idea why they were having to wait. Thank heavens for life afloat and more so to not having to face a daily commute any more.