With us now up, we left soon after and made our way back to Tipton. We were told that one of Tipton Green locks could still be seen and were determined to find it. In fact it was dead easy to find, mooring at Tipton Green Bridge on the park side (near the statue of the Boxer) we crossed the bridge, turned left and followed a foot path.
|Tipton Green lock|
We did walk on towards Caggy's boat yard on the Main line thinking maybe the canal continued even further but no sign of it beyond the boat yard. Walking back I heard the unmistakable cry of a Parrot!! There are a vast number of these birds along the southern corridor, Thames, Brentford etc but this far North in Dudley????? Only the one seen so possibly an escapee???? or a casualty of storm Katie maybe? Anyway did manage a hazy photo even though it was perched high up in a distant tree.
While we were at Craggy's we happened to enquire the cost of his diesel. At 70p a Ltr thought it outrageously high although still not the most we have encountard. That honour goes to Sheepcoats in Birmingham at 80p Ltr. Anyway having heard the Hawne Basin at the end of Dudley No 2 canal was selling his at 43p Ltr for domestic we decided to brave the notoriously narrow and low Gosty Hill Tunnel. So we ended up turning off the Main line and onto the Netherton Tunnel branch.
|Very very wet!|
This canal has some fabulous mile posts and figures with some telling a story.
There are loads more of these signs placed all along the Dudley No 2 too many to put on here so I have put a link to my web album The Mile Markers on Dudley No 2 Canal. Some make very good and informative reading.
Reaching Gosty Hill tunnel I at first wondered what all the fuss was about. Looked narrow but hardly deserved the reputation it had been given. Little did we realise until we got inside just how tight and low it got. If you fancy seeing how we got through click here.
This wasn't the only narrow thing to get through. The bridge into the Basin was equally as narrow and low with the added hazard of being jagged. How we would have coped if it had been windy I hate to think but having been told reversing in for the services was easier then going in forward, Ian did a sterling job of reversing FS through the arch, narrowly missing the hand rail being damaged on the jagged brick work. Just inches to spare and he brought FS in without a scratch.
|Winding hole by Burton bridge into the Basin|
|Ian reversing in|
|Getting a bit near!!|
Filling FS's tank, as well as the 20 litre Jerry can, we were found a berth for the night nestled between two boats. Tomorrow it's a short walk to the Stove and Fireplace shop to purchase more fire rope. Hopefully by replacing it that will stop the smoke pouring into the room when the stove is lit. Having to rely on our diesel central heating is okay when it's not to cold, but with it set to get colder again I would love to have the fire relit.
First butterfly seen this year. A Comma