Saturday, 12 November 2016

New water

Our winter plan is to cruise those Midlands canals not previously covered.  We have spent almost three days on the excellent moorings at Star City and in that time only saw one other boat.  Today we decided to take advantaged of the forecasted good weather and make a start up the Tame Valley Canal.  There was frost over the wooden decking of the floating mooring pontoon and boat gunwales so I wasn’t prepared to crab my way down the off-side gunwale to remove the Refleks stove flue.  Instead we cruised down to the narrows of the former Nechells Lock where I jumped off and removed the flue as we slowly moved through it.  At Spaghetti Junction (Salford Junction) we turned to port (left) passed the entrance to the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal and Cuckoo Wharf.

P1030525I think I counted six levels of transport here starting with the River Tame.

P1030523The second level is the canal and then there were four overhead levels of motorway forming Spaghetti Junction.


The gauging island at the start of the Tame Valley Canal reminds you that you’re on the BCN.


WE found it rather ironic that the first section of the canal has the M6 Motorway directly overhead.  We must have travelled this part of the M6 at least a dozen times without realizing the Tame Valley Canal was directly underneath us. 

P1030529Eventually the M6 moves off to the right whilst we continue straight ahead to Perry Barr Bottom Lock, the first of 13 that form the flight.

IMG_1067There was a slight problem at the second lock when neither of our two handcuff keys would unlock the top paddles. The square shaft inside the anti-vandal lock had been worn to a round shape on both paddles.  After carefully examining the towpath side paddle mechanism I realised we weren’t the first to experience this problem. Someone has given the anti-vandal lock a good belting with club hammer and had broken the mounting bracket. With some careful winding I was able to raise and lower the paddle bypassing the anti-vandal lock.


You can see the broken mounting bracket in the above photo.  We have emailed CRT about the problem.

It was just above this lock (No12) that I noticed the red diesel sign.


Waiouru’s diesel tank is still half full so we didn’t bother to stop and check the price

We didn’t want to complete the entire flight today and after looking at the map decided to moor below Lock 10.  If we’re lucky the internet coverage on the mooring should be good.


It was a bonus to discover the planned mooring location had bollards on the off-side.  Another semi-secure mooring location.


red diesel

Waterway Routes

The forecast is for rain all day tomorrow which means we’re likely to stay on this mooring until Monday. Time to start looking for a nearby pub that serves a Sunday roast!


Ade said...

Ah I wondered where you were heading! Now the cat is out the bag 😀. This is going to make some interesting reading/cruising, Andrew Tidy's, Captain ahab will be your go to man! Pensal common looks rather nice from the rally there earlier in the year.
Looking forward to more.

nb Chuffed said...

I wonder when the damage to the anti-vandal lock occurred, as we managed it ok last month. Did you see what lies behind the red diesel sign? It looked a bit deserted and desolate we thought but didn't try the number. Enjoy the new waters! we had a great time

Tom and Jan said...


I think we have already done that bit of the BCN. But you never know if a follow-up will occur!

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Debbie & Dave,
I'd read you have been this way recently and did wonder if you'd also come upon the problem. Fortunately we managed to find a way around it but CRT will need to do something.

Halfie said...

You say your mooring was on the offside, but is there not a towpath both sides on the Perry Barr flight? ( I might be misremembering ...)

Tom and Jan said...

Where we are moored you are technically correct. The other side of the canal has a wide, bitumen sealed path. Our side has a narrow, overgrown goat track 😁

Hoits said...

There's a Wetherspoons at the One Stop shopping centre, a longish walk or a short bus ride away, the Church Tavern is about 1km away in Church Road, or for something different there is a world buffet at the Boar's Head, even closer. You have a Halfords alongside the canal at the next bridge. Surprisingly, as it passes through Perry Barr Park, a little higher up, the flight becomes one of the most attractive you can find.

Tom and Jan said...

I did note the Spoons at the OneSpot when I walked there from Star City. We walked past Halfords this afternoon on our way to Aldi.

My guess is lunch will be at the Church Taven. You've obviously been this way!

Hoits said...

Live just down the road

Tom and Jan said...

Well in that case I should have asked you where Aldi was instead of the other "local" couple who were prepared to send me miles away in the opposite direction :-)