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Monday, April 23, 2018

Black Country Living Museum to Sheepcote Street Bridge, Birmingham

Good run this morning, down through Brades locks, and then we took Soho loop and then Icknield Port loop, just for a change.

Now moored back at Sheepcote Street Bridge, Birmingham.


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Closure of The Big Wok in Birmingham

Sad news today that our favourite Chinese Buffet, The Big Wok in Birmingham has closed down. 


Friday, April 20, 2018

Neptune's Wharf to Black Country Living Museum

Having arrived at Neptune's Wharf Tuesday we were both feeling under the weather, so we had an appointment with a GP in the Neptune Health Centre. She thought we may have picked up a virus from the canal water whilst freeing the mattress from the prop.

At least she didn't think it was Weil's disease which is what we were worried about.

As we both felt totally pooped we decided to stay put for a couple of days to recover.

This morning we both felt a lot better, although not fully recovered, so we had a short run to the Black Country Living Museum for the weekend.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Walsall to Neptune's Wharf, Tipton

This morning we had a quick wander around Walsall.

Then we set off back to Tipton.

More floating rubbish.

Working up through Ryder's Green locks on the Walsall canal. this was after having a ground in the bottom pound, which was down about 6", but Jo sent some water down and we were soon on our way up the rest of the locks.

Approaching the lower staircase Brades locks, on the Gower branch.

We are now moored back at Neptune Wharf, Tipton.


Titford Pumphouse to Walsall.

Things started so well. Nice and sunny to set off down Oldbury locks.

However the last pound was a tad short of water, but some CRT staff who were litter picking kindly let some water down for us.

Ryder's locks, last visited 10 years ago on the Explorer 2008 Cruise.

Just some of the rubbish in the locks.

Unfortunately as we cleared Bull Lane Bridge, Something substantial attached itself to our prop, and despite the engines governor striving to keep the engine going, the gearbox didn't like it. A quick visit down the weed hatch and problem solved, we had picked up a spring mattress. Whilst I started to attack it with bolt croppers, and a Stanley knife for the material, Jo phone CRT, and within 20 minutes 2 lads turned up. Jo and I poled the boat over to them and they set about trying to get the mattress off using a boat pole with hooks on.

Unfortunately because of the angle needed to get under our counter and at the prop, the pole was not long enough, so they rang for more assistance, and soon another 2 lads arrived with a longer pole. With me still hacking away with the bolt croppers, eventually they managed to clear enough of it for the engine to run and drive the prop. 3 hours this took. We set off for Walsall but going was slow as there was still some residual stuff on the prop.

We arrived and moored up in Walsall basin, very tired, but I wanted to get the prop cleared and it took me another hour to finally clear the prop. I was pooped! We decided to leave seeing Walsall till the morning.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Oldbury & West Bromwich

This morning we walked up into Oldbury.

We had a cup of tea in the Court of Requests, a Wetherspoons establishment. The former public library is one of the oldest buildings in Oldbury and stands opposite the modern offices of Sandwell Council. Now a grade II listed building, it was erected in 1816 as a Court of Requests. The premises included a gaol, with cells for male and female prisoners. The prison regime was severe. In July 1820, an order was issued that "no kinds of provisions, ale, spirits or drinkables be allowed to be received or taken into the prisoners for their use of any description whatever, except a loaf of bread weighing 1lb for each person per day".

Then we took a short bus journey to West Bromwich, where we first of all had lunch at the Billiard Hall, another Wetherspoons.

Suitably refreshed we wandered around West Bromwich shops.

The infamous "Public" building. 


2019 IWA Calendar

Jo has had 2 of her photographs  selected for the 2019 Inland Waterways Association's calendar.

This one has been chosen for the cover.

And this one is for January.

Voting is now on until the end of today, 13th April, to select the best photo from all 13 which will appear in the calendar.

Voting can be done on-line by clicking on this link or by clicking on any of the photos.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Windmill End to Titford Pump-house

The weather forecast was for showers today. Showers? One very long shower! A damp run up from Windmill End through to Brades locks, to Titford Canal. Atlas & Malus where moored at the bottom of Oldbury locks, for their crew to dry out. 

Oldbury No.1 lock alongside BCNS Titford pump-house.

Reversing back to our allocated mooring.

Now moored at BCNS Titford Pump-house for the weekend. Looking forward to exploring Oldbury which we did not have time to do 10 years ago when we came up here for the first and last time on the BCNS explorer cruise in 2008, which was our introduction to the BCN, and we have enjoyed it ever since then.


Merry Hill to Windmill End

Leaving Merry Hill.

The Waterfront at Merry Hill.

Blowers Green lock and pump-house.

Now moored back at Windmill End.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Windmill End to Merry Hill

Fun filled day. We were awoken by the noisiest dawn chorus! We waited for the drizzle to abate as we weren't going far, and we didn't have to wait too long. We passed Ann a volunteer who knows us, with her colleagues cleaning up rubbish at Primrose Bridge. As I went through the bridge hole I picked up a blade-full, so we pulled in around the corner and I cleared it all and took the rubbish back to Ann. We stopped briefly above Blowers Green lock to take on water, empty the toilet and dispose of rubbish. Got chatting to one of the CRT staff clearing the water of rubbish, and he knew of Pisces, as her used to be down in London. We had a short chat until a boat wanted to come up the lock. 

Now moored at the embankment, Merry Hill, and we have had a brief walk around the centre.


Monday, April 09, 2018

Neptune Wharf Tipton to Windmill End Junction

The intention this morning was to go to the Black Country Living Museum and wind and fill the water tank and empty the toilet cassette. We set off to wind at Factory Junction in the fog, which disappeared by the time we got to Tipton Junction and turned to go up to the Museum.  Unfortunately when we go there, there were boats moored blocking the winding hole and water point so we moored up just before the Museum. We had lunch then went to do a food shop at Aldi. Upon returning, the situation within the Museum hadn't changed so I decided to reverse back to Tipton junction, and we set off for Windmill End.

Having gone down Brades locks on the Gower Arm, Jo made a hot cup of coffee. Having turned onto the New Main Line at Albion junction Jo took a sip of coffee and her glasses fogged up, I thought we had lost the fog in the morning.

Now moored at Windmill End.


Saturday, April 07, 2018

BCNS Spring Cruise to Bumble Hole, Windmill End and Back.

This morning we took on-board our designated passengers for the day and set off for Windmill End.

Despite it raining when we got up and when we set off, it soon stopped and turned out to be and lovely day.

Moored up for lunch at Windmill End.

Joanna and her Joey setting off to return back to Tipton.

This is some friends of a friend, who now we know each other we are friends as well.

We returned to moor back at Nelsons Wharf, Tipton.

 We then walked up the road to Mad O'Rourkes Pie Factory where we all enjoyed a meal out together.