Friday, 9 December 2016

In the clouds

Must have been a large fire somewhere around Stourport last night because that bright red evening sky didn’t result in today being bright and sunny.  We moved forward onto the water point at Bumble Hole to top up the tank.  Good water pressure here so it didn’t take long.

The cruising plan was to go back through Netherton Tunnel and turn left at Dudley Port Junction.  We’d then head north up the New Main Line to Factory Locks (3) turning left above them and look for a mooring at The Black Country Museum.

Tipton MapThere was a slight surprise on the approach to the tunnel.  It’s long, straight and wide which meant when we came through a fortnight ago we could see the other end.

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No far end?

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Still no far end?

Quarter of the way through and we entered cloud (well probably mist).  Visibility was down to one boat length.

P1030597It stayed like this until the last 400 metres.  You can see in the above photo that we have the headlight tilted upwards.  Pointing it straight ahead can blind oncoming boaters and actually seems to reduce visibility.

Whilst heading towards Factory Locks we happened to notice the small fake dome and minaret on a reasonably new building beside the canal.  It’s obviously a Muslim building which I assumed to be a mosque.  However Jan thought it was a school.  

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The three Factory Locks were in our favour  which made the transit quite fast.

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Our left turn at Factory Junction above the locks took us onto new water.  We’ve not previously cruised the short length of canal between here and Tipton Junction.

There is a statue of a boxer in the middle of Tipton Green beside the canal.

P1030602It’s a statue of William Perry, The Tipton Slasher (1819-1880).  His parents were canal boat people.  Apparently he was a ‘hard man’ who wore the scars of his fights with pride.  The Slasher had his first fight at 16 winning five guineas.  By 20 he’d had all his front teeth knocked out. 

William fought eleven contests, winning six, drawing two and losing three.  His longest fight was 133 rounds and his last in 1857 aged 38 against Tom Sayers.  The prize was 400 guineas.  The Slasher was well past his prime whilst Sayers was at his peak.  The Slasher never quit and took his beating standing.  After 1 hour 40 minutes his financial backer threw in the towel realizing The Slasher would never win.

He died of alcoholism and consumption aged 61 and was buried in the local churchyard.

Meanwhile we continued on to the Black Country Museum moorings where we found only one other boat. 

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