I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Friday, 19 August 2011

Thursday 18th August

I’m afraid it was another fairly early start but this time as rain was forecast and we had 13 locks to do – 9 of which were in a flight. It was 8.50am when we left and it took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get both boats through the flight. We are getting these flights down to a fine art now! Cecilia was first and by the time I got to the top Penny had pulled over and was cooking bacon sandwiches – what a treat! Penny, Richard and I then walked back down the locks to a lovely canal shop by the bottom lock (why on earth it couldn’t have been at the top lock I don’t know!). It then started to rain but we only had 4 more locks to do. After the last lock there was about 11 miles of summit pound – unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as nice as the South Stratford had been. The canal became very dirty and it flowed through a very built up area. There is one tunnel on this part of the canal called the Brandwood Tunnel, it is short at 275 yards and at the western end Shakespeare looks down on the boats passing beneath him. There were four swing bridges to contend with – however when we got to the last one it had been taken away which is a shame as there is a story that went with it. The bridge was hit by a lorry in the Second World War and Great Western Railways, who owned the canal at the time, clamped down the platform as commercial traffic on the canal had more or less ceased but the Inland Waterways Association, who was in its embryonic days, maintained that a right of navigation still applied. The GWR claimed that they would be only too happy to jack the bridge up to permit boats to pass as required, little realising that the IWA intended to organise as many boat passages as would be necessary to have the bridge fully repaired. Several campaign cruises ensued, but it was until Nationalisation of the canals that the bridge was installed. I’m not too sure when the bridge disappeared. We turned onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at King’s Norton Junction and moored up for the night. Penny has an old school friend who lives at Bourneville so she came over for dinner.

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