Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wolverhampton 21

We spoke to a guy the other day who'd just come down the Wolverhampton 21 and said it was an awful trip, so I was dreading it when we set off this morning.  I was expecting the lock flight to be really hard work with lots of rubbish in the water, but it was quite the opposite. It's one of the best looked after flights we've ever done.  All the lock paddles are extremely well greased and easy to do and the lock surrounds are well maintained.

The first few locks are still quite rural looking, several having been planted with cowslips.

Further up the flight industry starts to encroach on the canal but I was amazed that there was absolutely no litter either on the towpath or in the water.

In one of the pounds there were several coots nests. This mother was still cleaning the bits of egg shell off her newly hatched brood.

I've never seen coot chicks before.  They're quite ugly really.

This stone was built into the side of Lock 15.  I wonder how many boats have passed through the lock since 1861.

The locks might have been fairly easy but I was still glad when we got to the top.  It took us 3 hours 12 minutes and we only saw 4 boats coming down.  We would have done it dead on 3 hours but were stuck at one lock for 12 minutes waiting for a BW hopper and tug to come down 2 locks.  They're dredging the flight at the moment and the mud they're dredging up is horrible, very black and greasy looking.

lock cottages beside lock 1

We're now moored outside Broad St. Basin which is a BW yard with water and rubbish disposal.  These are secure moorings but there's no access point so we can't go off and explore the area.  When we arrived there were 2 other boats here and another 2 arrived later this evening, all ready to go down the locks tomorrow.


Alf said...

I thought you could get out the door by the water point onto the towpath ?
BW key required to get back in, it's severall years since I was last there so maybe it's changed ?

Adam said...

We've found that lots of the BCN is unfairly maligned. We've never had a problem at the Wolverhampton Locks, and we've also taken excursions round the Wyrley and Essington, Walsall, and the Tame Valley. The Tame Valley Canal in particular I thought was great, thanks to an aqueduct over the M5, and fantastic views over Birmingham.

Yvonne said...

Yes you can get out on the towpath side, but we were on the 24 hr moorings on the off-side