About Us

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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

And then onwards to Brum

The forecast this morning was for rain to arrive in the midland area by 2pm, so to make sure we were moored before it arrived we left early again. No locks today but a couple of lift bridges including one needing a BW key.

A busy bridge. Ian had to judge when to close the barriers.

Traffic piled up waiting for Ian to close the bridge. He loves making the traffic wait!

Its years since we traveled this canal but apart from new buildings appearing along the way its pretty much as I remember it. Still narrow in places and BW definitely haven't honour their 'vedg pledge' to clear offside branches and bushes. Even the towpaths are unkempt, muddy and very wet. Even so, I loved chugging along listening to the birds and the occasional car and remembering days gone by.

Replacing piling.
The rain held off until Kings Norton junction appeared in the distance. I rushed forward to take photos of the guillotine lock and noticed a flat fender floating ahead of us. Collecting dislodged fenders is a must in our book Its almost impossible for us to leave one if we see it in the water bobbing about.  We once exited Harecastle Tunnel when a fender came into view. We put the boat hard into reverse and some of the boaters waiting to go through, wondered if something bad had happened for us to stop like that. They looked quite bemused when they realised what we were doing. We eventually chased it almost back into the tunnel before we managed to grab it. We had loads of laughter and applause from the boaters ringing in our ears.  Anyway, I digress, we pulled into the side and armed with my fishing net managed to oik it out. It looked almost new so its another one to add to our collection. In my opinion you can never have enough fenders.

Guillotine lock

Why do the layabouts have to deface this.

Could this be a hybrid  Canada goose.

Kings Norton Junction

I immediately noticed a difference in the look of the area when turning right onto the Birmingham Worcester Canal. Most noticeable was the graffiti. Hardly a wall or pillar was left without this eyesore strewn all over it. Shocking!!!

Not an inch free of graffiti
Although we were now on the approaches to Birmingham the canal was relatively free from rubbish. The student population, apart from defacing the walls, obviously took pride in keeping the area clean. We sailed past Bournville and Birmingham University. I cant believe that 15 years ago our son Colin left this university with a 2.1 in Computer Science. Where has the time gone? It only seems like yesterday that we watched him graduate.

University clock tower.
It wasn't long before we neared Birmingham Gas Street Basin. Stopping at the facilities made me realise just how small we looked against the modern buildings. We could have stopped at the basin but there was no grassy area for Jade to do her 'hurry ups' so we made our way to the Old Turn moorings on the Birmingham main line. We're going to stay on these 14 day moorings for a few days as Ian has his CT and MRI scan on Thursday and New Street Station is only 10 minute walk away so easy to get back to Nottingham. The rain has finally appeared with a vengeance but at least we're warm and dry and watching the crew in the hire boats braving the elements..

Pink water bus

1 comment:

Jo (Boatwoman) said...

I do love dear old Brum. Did you wave to the BBC at the Mail Box. Hopefully we will get up there again sometime to say hello again to Nick Owen. Have a fab time in Brum. xx

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