Monday, 24 January 2011

Trip Back

We left our lovely mooring at the Black Country Museum on Thursday lunchtime, winded ( a bit tight I might add) and started back towards Birmingham.  We were breaking ice most of the way, yet again...    Our route back was along the OLD Main line so we were able to see just a little more of the BCN ( Birmingham Canal Navigations) and we are rather enjoying the old BCN and look forward to further exploration at a later date.
It was a bright, cloudless day therefore a bright COLD day and though three and a half hours later I was toasty warm and himself was frozen to the tiller!
There is a section of the Old Main Line that is 'crowned' by the concrete stilts and bed of the M5 motorway. Unsightly but rather interesting for the most part.  We slipped quietly along in the hidden canal navigation while the 'other world' out there rushes up and down a congested roadway; I know where I would rather be.
Caxton crossing the Stewart Aqueduct that takes the OLD Main line across the NEW main line. Just to the left is... below
 concrete pylons that support the M5 carefully placed IN the bed of the New Mainline, Yes, that is a canal down there!

As we came through the Summit Tunnel adjacent to what was the Sandwell Colliery wharf I spotted the recent work of a lumberjack and summoned Caxton to a quick mooring exercise while I  liberated these Ash logs.  It is jus so pleasurable to find free fuel ....sad.
The restored Smethwick pumping station the sits squarely between the two canals, OLD line and NEW line.
Mr Heron enjoying the sunshine
Engine branch going over Telfords Aqueduct, crossing from the upper level Old Main line over the New Main line below.
We worked our way the three Smethwick locks at which point I re-joined the boat and put kettle on.  I could do without walking the stretch from Smethwick as I had spent the last 8 weeks tramping up and down that bit with the two dogs.  We were mooring up in Brum 20 mins later back to what has become a usual spot and Nb. Matilda Rose had already arrived so it was out for a meal together that night.

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