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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Canal Cruising - Stourport Ring Days 5 to 7

Day 5
Thursday we woke to a grey morning, there was a little rain overnight but nothing to keep us awake.
We had the normal cooked breakfast, a boating tradition for us then had a quick look at Stourbridge.
With a few locks ahead of us we set off from Stourbridge Basin at around 10am, back down the Stourbridge town arm to Wordsley Junction, then turned right heading for Dudley and Birmingham. We immediately had the Stourbridge 16 locks ahead of us. All narrow locks so the going was not so hard.
We passed the Red House glass cone at Stuart Crystals visitor centre, quite imposing, believe the only one left in the area.
Red House Glass Cone.

Climbing the Stourbridge 16 Locks.

Split bridge, the towrope would have been passed
through he gap in the days of horse drawn narrowboats.

View back to the Glass Cone.

The area is pretty urban, but the canal is a green ribbon through the urban areas.
Drizzle set in near the top of the locks but we had to push on as the girls wanted to spend Friday shopping in Birmingham.
We carried on, one minute in the drizzle, the next the sky clear, turning at Leys Junction through more industrial areas before reaching the 8 Delph Locks. These are an impressive sight as they climb up towards the Dudley No 1 canal, with large holding ponds and sluices to the left of each lock as we climbed upwards.
Looking down Delph Locks.

Side sluices at the side of each lock.

After Delph locks the rain came down as we headed through the Merry Hill shopping complex, this used to be the site of the massive Round Oak Steelworks before redevelopment and the canal has a new wide channel.
Merry Hill in the rain.

We pushed on in the rain onto the Dudley No 1 Canal heading for Blowers Green lock and back to familiar territory at Park Head Junction. Locking up then turning right here for the Dudley No 2 Canal the rain cleared. We soon reached Windmill End.
Windmill End.

Netherton Tunnel.

We then headed through the long Netherton Tunnel then right onto the New Main Line toBirmingham.
We reached Birmingham around 6pm and moored near the National Indoor Marina. After a welcome shower we headed into Brum for an evening meal and a few drinks.

Day 6/7
Not a brilliant nights sleep this time round in Birmingham. We had our ropes cut by yobs after midnight, luckily Toni was awake and heard something so we where out of the boat before we drifted off. We tied up again then noticed that higher up the canal 4 more boats had been cut adrift and where at all angles on the canal. We eventually woke the owners up and helped them get tied up. First time this has happened to our boat.
We spent most of the day shopping, well the girls did, I had a sneaky snooze.
Geese and young in Birmingham.

We left Birmingham around 3pm and headed back along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal back to Alvechurch. Mooring up in the marina around 6.40pm.
We settled for a fish and chip dinner before the hardwork of cleaning the boat began, continuing on the Saturday morning once we had filled with diesel, water, and had the bogs pumped out. Was a good week, we covered a lot of canals we had not previously visited but still have more to add to our to do list.

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