Saturday, 22 September 2012

Back to Birmingham

Yesterday, we left Cuckoo Wharf fairly early as we all wanted to be back in Birmingham by early afternoon and we had 24 locks in front of us.  Unfortunately we had an unexpected delay at Aston Bottom Lock as Alan on the boat in front of us couldn't get the bottom gate open. By the time we moored up behind him, he'd already phoned the local C&RT guys who arrived within 20 mins. Their equipment left a lot to be desired as it was in a poor state of repair, but they persevered and managed to shift what they thought was a pile of bricks from behind the gate.  We'd been delayed about an hour but soon got a good rhythm going between the 4 boats left on the cruise and we made good progress up the lock flight.  About half way up the heavens opened and it continued to pour down for the rest of the day.  It was extremely cold too, so for the first time in ages we needed full waterproofs and jumpers too.

Half way up Farmer's Bridge flight is a new lock gate.  This is the first 2012 C&RT lock plaque we're seen.  It's a shame though, that they've replaced the lock gate but re-used the lock beam which is old and in poor condition due to rot.  Wouldn't you think they'd have done a proper job while they were at it?

Farmer's Bridge flight has a better quality of graffiti. It also has it's fair share of alcoholics lurking under the bridges, but you have to give them their due; they're all very friendly and chatty even if they were swigging back the White Lightening at 11.30 in the morning.

We're now moored back in the centre of Birmingham, right outside the NIA.

To celebrate the last night of a very pleasant week's cruising in excellent company we all went out for the evening.  We started in the Prince of Wales pub and ended up in Cafe Rouge.  On the way back to the boats we were met by thousands of people pouring out of the N.I.A (National Indoor Arena) after seeing Michael McIntyre on Tour and the bridges over the canal were packed. This morning several of the beautiful floral planters which are on the bridges had been ransacked and the flowers just thrown on the floor. It's such a shame, let's hope there isn't a repeat tonight.


nb Chance said...

We hope to be in Birmingham on Monday, if you are still there?

Doug and James

Yvonne said...

Hi Guys, yes we'll be here until Wednesday