Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Preventative Action

As anticipated, we awoke to rain and our 48 hours in Birmingham expired after lunch.  The first task was to dispose of the rubbish and then I prepared to visit Paul Balmer on nb Waterway Routes who was going to experiment with rolling flat the paint edge left by the marking tape.  Paul had already bought the roller and I wanted to observe his efforts.  He arrived at Waiouru before I could head to his mooring at Sherborne Wharf.  Waterway Routes is to be repainted in the near future and therefore provided an ideal canvas to experiment.  Paul had already painted several strips and then removed the masking tape.  We sat around waiting for a skin to form on the wet paint…….  and we waited around for a skin to form on the wet paint….. and we waited……   At noon I could stay no longer and had to leave Paul looking at the wet paint.  However I did ask him to send me a follow-up email on what he learned once the paint started to dry.

There had been frequent showers during the morning and I therefore decided to get into all my wet weather clothing and leather boots.  This preventative action was taken in the certain knowledge it would be sufficient to ensure the weather stayed dry and sunny!

We reversed back to Old Turn Junction and then turned towards Gas Street Basin.



Gas Street Basin

The Worcester Bar Stop Lock was built by the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company at the insistence of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Company (BCN).  The latter had been completed in 1773 and when the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Company commenced their canal 22 years later the BCN wanted to protect their water source. There were company toll offices either side of the lock .


It’s a 90 deg turn at the Mailbox


We stopped for water almost immediately after the turn.  Water pressure here is very poor and we overstayed the maximum allowed time (30 minutes) waiting for the tank to fill.  It was a relatively slow cruise back to Kings Norton Junction.

It was a lovely afternoon and we decided to press on towards Alverchurch.  This involved passing through Wast Hill Tunnel.  At 2726 yards long it one of the longest in the country. 


We’ve previously been this way on a hire boat, but I couldn’t remember the tunnel.  The first thing I noticed today was I couldn’t see the far end which led me to assume it wasn’t straight.

Part the way through I noticed two other things.  There was graffiti on the tunnel wall.  There’s no towpath so this would have to be done from a boat?  I also noticed the evenly spaced iron “H” frames fitted to the tunnel roof.  I’m assuming they were for electricity and perhaps electrically operated tug boats pulled working boats through the tunnel?

The sky was threatening more rain so we moored at Hopwood.  Weather permitting, we will continue tomorrow.


Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

The paint was still too wet when I tried at 19:00. It's a good job you didn't wait any longer.

Pip and Mick said...

Hi Tom
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere (probably Pearson's) that the iron brackets in Wast Hills Tunnel were for telegraph/telephone wires. There was a tug system but it was steam (later diesel) powered.

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Mick

Well they look like there might have been insulators and we saw more of them today.

Jennie said...

Hi Tom, we assume you must be heading for Tardebigge - please give the place a wave from us. We aim to be in Alvechurch for 6 October before heading back to Droitwich. Are you going into Droitwich? If so, there are 48 hour moorings in Netherwich Basin (locked gates, so very safe, not that Droitwich is a den of iniquity!) and a visit to the Gardiner's Arms should be on the itinerary. To get to the pub - go out of the basin gates and turn right. Follow the path to the end of the white cottages, turn left down the alleyway and turn right at the end and you cannot miss the pub. They invented the Droitwich sausage! We have never had a bad meal there and the prices are very reasonable. Waitrose if right opposite the canal, so a good shopping spot. Jennie and Chris, nb Tentatrice

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jennie & Chris
Yes we are going into Droitwich. Thanks for the additional info! We completed the 30 locks today.😊

Jennie said...

Hi Tom and Jan, So we have just seen! Well done. Shame we weren't there in our C&RT volunteer kit to knock on the door of the Black Prince boat and then to lend you a hand! Enjoy the trip down to Droitwich and give a wave to Pinders (just past the bridge after the last Stoke lock) as that is where Tentatrice was 'born'. Jennie & Chris

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Jennie & Chris

I'll try to remember to take a photo of Pinders. We just took our time going down the flight enjoying the scenery (obviously not experts like you two!)