Monday, 22 November 2010

Winter Cruise - Day Three

The moorings at the Black Country Museum are both noisy (being next to a busy road), and bright (as the BW service block is very well illuminated).  However, it was extremely heavy rain which woke us up during the night.

We left at 8 o'clock, and turned right onto the Old Main Line.  Our route to Birmingham had been the subject of some discussion, as we've done the journey between Wolverhampton and Birmingham several times over the years.  On one occasion we used the Factory Locks at Tipton to move between the levels of the New and Old main lines, and most recently we used the Smethwick Locks.  So this time, we decided to take a left turn at Brades Hall Junction and use the Brades Locks to take us down onto the Gower Branch and onto the New Main Line.  The Brades Locks include the BCN's only staircase pair.

At the bottom, Brades Hall Bridge has very low headroom, and we had to stop and take off the chimney and the internet antenna.

After completing the third (single) lock and the rest of the Gower Branch, we turned right onto the New Main Line, wide, deep, and straight.  We went under the M5 on its huge concrete pillars, and under the Old Main Line on the Stewart Aqueduct.

As we approached the city centre, we turned off round the Oozells Stree Loop, and spotted that Sherborne Wharf must be one of the few marinas in the country with two electric boats: Waterway Routes, and Felonious Mongoose.

We moored at the end of the Oozells Loop, had a shower and lunch, then went to find Lesley on Caxton, moored just round the corner.  Later in the afternoon, we went along to have a look at The Cube, as it was just a huge hole in the ground when we were last here.  Then we walked into town through the Frankfurt Christmas Market, which has taken over virtually all the centre of town.

This evening, Lesley and Joe, and Jill and Graham from Matilda Rose are coming round for a drink before we all go out for something to eat.  Tomorrow, lots of locks.

9 miles, 3 locks (32 miles, 26 locks)


John Sloan said...

I do enjoy your cruise diaries.
I hope you visit the Christmas Market have not been for a few years but was very good last time I went. I love mooring in Birmingham so much to do and see

Halfie said...

I see even the Christmas tree is afloat.

Halfie said...

I've borrowed your tree pic for a blog post - hope you don't mind.