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Saturday, 24 December 2011

Urban Navigation Part 2

Getting a bit lax at this blogging, heres the second part of our Urban trip on the canals.

We spend day having a look around the Black Country Living Museum, well worth the entrance fee. Various buildings and industry have been transported here from all over the Black Country to create a living museum, with many demonstrations of life in the late 1850's to 1940's.
We took a trip around the re-created drift mine, looked at the old pit head, saw chain and nails been forged and many other crafts being demonstrated. Fish and Chips in the old fish shop where fantastic. Every building had a volunteer in the authentic garb of the day explaining Black Country life.

Black Country Commercial Street

Typical housing of Black Country.

Re-created Pit Head

Garage from the 1940's

The following day we then returned towards Birmingham on the BCN "Old main line" following the land contours, crossing over our previous route.

Crossing the branch passed on the level last time,
now high over the branch to Netherton Tunnel and Dudley.

Link down 3 locks to "New main line"

The canal then spends a couple of miles going under the elevated
section of M5 - Not very picturesque!

Then crosses the "New main line" where the legs of M5 are in the water.

In and out under the M5 again where one of the old bridges now leads
to nowhere.

Another branch down to the "New main line" Spon Lane Locks.

Back along the Galton Valley at a higher level.

Then the final locks down to Smethwick Junction and the "New main line"
These where closed due to lock wall re-building, someone had forgotten
to check for stoppages, so we had to retrace our route back to Spon
Lane Locks.

At the bottom of Spon Lane Locks, we have to take a sharp left here back
towards Birmingham.

Back in the centre of Birmingham, we head left, under Broad Street then
out past Selly Oak and Bournville towards our boatyard.

Out the other side of Birmingham, have passed through the tunnel and
nearing journeys end at Alvechurch.

Was an interesting week, enjoyed the different aspects of an urban canal, but not having to untangle rags and wire from the prop!
I would like to do a ring around Birmingham at a later date using the Netherton Tunnel, Dudley, and Stourbridge canals.