Thursday, 20 September 2012

The Curly Wyrley and more

The trip up Walsall Locks was pretty uneventful, although the dying duck weed above the top lock was like a thick grey carpet and was getting pretty smelly in the sunshine.

Tuesday night was spent at Pelsall Common.  The plan had been for us all to have a BBQ but it was just too windy, so we went to the pub instead.

On Wednesday we carried on along the Curly Wyrley (Wyrley & Essington Canal), stopping at Brownhills for some shopping and to use the BW services.
Longwood Boat Club kindly let us all moor up for the night and use their club house for a fish and chip supper. We've always been made very welcome here and have to thank them once again for their hospitality.  Not only did they let us use their facilities but they also lit the fire and put on a film show as well.

It's been a long day today.  We set off just before 9.00 and got half way down Rushall Locks where we found Maggie & Bernie on the boat in front of us being towed into the bank by another of our group. Their fan belt had snapped so Roger offered to change it for them and we were under way again in half an hour.

A couple of locks further on it was our turn for a delay.  We'd picked up another prop full of crap. This time it was barbed wire wrapped around a zipped jacket and a piece of carpet. It took about 20 mins. to clear and filled another bin bag.  You really need to be committed to do the BCN - some say you should be committed if you do the BCN but that's another argument.  Despite all the rubbish along this stretch of canal, which included a floating leather sofa and a huge bale of silage, we saw plenty of wildlife including several fishing herons and a couple of kingfishers.

I'd heard some awful things about Perry Barr Locks, but they were easy to do and quite picturesque in places.  This is Lock 6. The bottom gates won't stay closed which means that, even thought the top gates leak quite a lot, the lock is almost almost empty.  As there's not much boat traffic along here, the greenery has really taken over and the lock sides are lined with plants you'd normally find on the grass verges.

22 locks after we'd set off this morning, we arrived at Spaghetti Junction where the motorways merge and cross each other. It was rush hour and the traffic noise and fumes were awful, but it was great to be going underneath them all and for once we were definitely travelling faster than them.

We're now moored at Cuckoo Wharf and will carry on back to Birmingham tomorrow.

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