An overcast day, but still quite pleasant. Inside Coseley Tunnel.
Spon lane locks.
We are now moored just inside the Oozells Street loop outside the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham City centre.
A few spots of wet stuff, but nothing to write home about. Stopped at Caggy's boatyard to see if anyone could help with our loose bolts, but they couldn't, I am not too worried, will have to regularly check them till we return to Warwick, but did think that as we have plenty of time if it was possible it would be worth sorting out now. Got back on the boat to restart the engine and there was oil all over the floor and up the door! The vent tap on the top of the oil filter had come undone, grrrrr. Panic over. Now moored at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley.
This afternoon we decided to check to see if we could locate where the knocking sound was coming from, good job we did to, as upon lifting the floorboards in the boatman’s cabin we discovered the bolts were coming undone on the UV joints on the prop shaft! Spent quite a while tightening them all up. I think we will have to have this sorted out permanently when we return to Warwick, but in the meantime we will regularly check them to make sure they are OK. Could have caused some serious damage if they have come off completely!
Yet another glorious days weather today. We set off from our overnight mooring, and yet again we had that knocking sound, so we pulled over and I located as possibly coming from the prop. Weed hatch opened and sure enough a load of stuff, including a bead necklace which may have well been the cause of the knocking sound. We set off again, without the knocking. Approaching Brandwood tunnel before King’s Norton junction.
A very pleasant run all the way into the City of Birmingham and now moored outside the Barclaycard Arena.
A sunny but chilly run this morning. Jo struggled to raise lift bridge No.28, but having let it back down it came up the 2nd time. We pulled into Swallow Cruisers and took on 205 litres (⅓ of a tankful) of diesel, and picked up 3 cans of engine oil.
We carried on but there was a strange noise coming from the engine room, which I had 1st noticed Saturday coming up the Lapworth locks. It appeared to be getting worse, not something else going wrong? We pulled over, and fortunately it was only the timing indicator rubbing against the flywheel, I must have leant on it whilst changing the oil and filter on the generator, phewww!
Now moored by the winding hole north of Bridge No.10, near Shirley, at what is a fairly non-muddy towpath.
Having rested for a day (Thursday) after doing the Hatton flight, and raining all day yesterday, we set off in glorious sunshine this morning. Approaching Kingswood junction where we turned left for the link between the Grand Union Canal, and the Stratford Canal.
The first lock a the link which then takes us onto the Stratford Canal.
Jo took the helm for some of the locks, despite not having done so since we travelled up this flight of locks a year ago, she was very confident and coped very well.
Now moored above Lapworth top lock having done the flight of 19 locks in 2¾ hours, and quite a few of them were against us.
5 miles and 19 locks in 3hrs 40mins.
We set off this morning on our Spring/Summer cruise. We had previously arranged with Ray & Caroline on “Tranquil Daze” who winter moor at the Saltisford Arm, to share the Hatton locks. Things were going so well until Jo could not shut one of the bottom gates. I struggled with long pole and grappling hook, but finally admitted defeat when I saw as CRT volunteer lock side, So I asked Jo to have a chat with him, he very kindly rang the right people for us, and the lady and man soon arrived and had the debris, which was bricks, cleared using their long keb, ours was not long enough.
Upon leaving the lock I noticed the canal building alongside the lock cottage and thought it looked remarkable like the model that I have recently purchased.
Apart from the doors are different colours. Upon checking once we were moored up, the lock cottage is the same as the one that Hornby retailed, so I may have to purchase one when we return.
I breasted the 2 boats up whilst in the bottom lock, which gave us a 3 person land crew, Ray went ahead setting the locks, whilst the girls stayed and worked the lock I was in.
Nearly at the top.
At the top lock we said our goodbyes to Ray and Caroline as they wanted to fill up with water, and we carried on. It was once I was in Shrewley tunnel that I discovered our tunnel lamp wasn’t working, but who needs one anyway!
We are now moored near Bridge No.60 just north of Shrewley tunnel.
We had home made leek & potato soup for lunch, then I set about fixing the solar panel control box, which was showing an error. I quick run of the test facility and it was work fine again. Then I tackled the tunnel lamp, which appears to be a faulty permanent wire connection to the bulb, which isn’t so permanent more intermittent. I fitted a spare bulb and all working fine again now. Quite an eventful 1st day!
3.7 miles, 21 locks in 3hrs 30mins, it took us just 2½ hours to do Hatton locks.
Fingers crossed. Our local marine engineer visited today to look at our poorly generator. From my description of the problem, which we had during our trip out in October, he suspected air getting into the fuel line. A quick check around with a couple of spanners and he discovered that the pipe fitting on the top of the fuel tank, which is underneath the generator, was a bit loose. Having explained that I had replaced the pipework for the cooling system at the start of his visit, he wondered if I had loosened it accidentally when fitting the new pipework, which was very close to the fitting, and I did struggle to get the new pipework in around that fitting. This tied in, as the problem had started after I changed the cooling pipework. He also tightened a few other joints whilst he was at it Hopefully this has fixed the problem. We will know when we set off hopefully next month for our Spring/Summer cruise.
Now that Jo and I have stopped selling coal this year, and following my building a small model railway, which sits on the shelf above my display cabinet in our saloon, Jo suggested that I build a layout in the hold. I have started making plans, purchasing buildings, etc. and have created a separate BLOG to cover the building of this layout, which I have named “Hadarford”. If you are interested you can follow its construction at hadarford.blogspot.co.uk.
This is an example of a building I bought on eBay, which had had a rather poor repaint, which I have repainted myself to a far better standard. Details of this repaint can also be seen on the BLOG.
I have now set up a new BLOG to record the building of my new model railway, which I have named “HADARFORD”.
I will post on it as and when things occur related to the building of the layout. It can be accessed by clicking on this link or by using the new link in our BLOG list on the left-hand side of this BLOG.