Friday, 28 September 2012

The Longest Day?

Last evening we went to “Bar Estilo” for our last meal in Birmingham.  We enjoyed ourselves and the food was very good indeed.  Following that it was a few bars and clubs and we were sound asleep by mid night.

This morning we left at 8 o’clock on, what was to be, a long days’ cruising.

IMG_2649 We slipped quietly from our mooring and left via Gas Street Basin – the massive “Cube” dominating the skyline.


Turning left at King’s Norton Junction onto the Stratford Canal we immediately came upon this former Guillotine stop lock.  Good job the guillotine is chained and locked!


Next was the Brandwood Tunnel – just 275 yards long but with an intriguing stone relief of Shakespeare above the portal.  After a further 9 miles we were soon onto the top of the Lapworth Flight of locks.  The Stratford Canal is tiresomely shallow most of the time and we hit quite a few underwater objects.


On one of the 24 (!) locks we worked today we found this ‘cotton real’ device for helping with the rope during a “cross over” on the old horse drawn narrow boats.


Most of the by-washes on the Lapworth Locks are like Niagara Falls and one of them is so intense it caught James out with an mighty collision onto the stone edging of the pound.

Half way down the flight is Kingswood Junction where the Grand Union Canal almost touches the Stratford Canal.  There are two connecting channels between the two canals, making Kingswood an interesting layout.  It was our third and final junction on our trip today – to come across one junction in a day is quite something!


‘Chance’ at Kingswood Junction – the white building is a barrel roofed canal cottage (modified and extended!) one of quite a few on the Stratford Canal.


There was quite a lot of yellow “aware” tape on the Stratford Canal.


Our mooring this evening – just the sheep for company making a distinct change from Birmingham!

Today being one of our longest days ever, we’ve completed 24 locks in 17.5 miles which took us over 8.5 hours, not a normal cruising day for us.

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