Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Worcester Bar to Dicken's Heath.

We finally tired of the flesh pots of Birmingham and yesterday morning we set off early-ish.

We passed our favourite burger restaurant and then it was through

Broad Street tunnel and then the old stop lock in the once infamous Worcester Bar.

This was where the new comer, the Worcs. and B'ham Canal, met the B.C.N. in 1795. Worried that their precious water might be siphoned off down to the Severn the B.C.N. insisted that there should be a seven foot dry strip between the two canals. This meant that all cargo coming up from or going down to Worcester had to be manhandled from one boat, across the bar and into another. After much lobbying a stop lock was finally built through the bar in 1815.

The gates are long gone but the narrow chamber of the lock still remains as a reminder of the past.

Down the Worcs. and B'ham the first few miles is parelleled by the railway. Busy at that time of the morning bringing commuters in to the city for their daily grind.

At Kings Norton Junction we turned off onto the Stratford Canal.

Yet another stop lock, this one still retains its unique guillotine gates, no longer used but kept as an historical artifact. Recently refurbished but already literally bedaubed by the locals.

The north portal of Brandwood tunnel retains its plaque of Stratford's most, some might say only, famous son. After the tunnel the canal assumes an almost rural air even though it traverses several of Birmingham's more salubrious suburbs.

Tree lined, exceedingly shallow and well supplied with various articles all eager to wrap themselves around your blades.
We moored just south of Dicken's Heath and, playing with the new camera, Jill got a rather good shot of a swallow at rest.

Today's doings will be held over until tomorrow as we are having a rest day.

Watch this space...

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