Monday, 14 February 2011

Birmingham to Bumble Hole

Caxton heading out of Birmingham on the New Main Line
 The last two nights we have moored in Birmingham where availed ourselves of the Away2Service boat and filled with diesel - we used Away2 all the time we were stuck in Brum and they were very good so we opted to use them again.  It was Away2Service that changed Caxton's engine oil in January - Joe usually does it himself but we already had ten litres of waste oil from the previous service so we didn't want to add to it - and they only charged us £12.50 labour! We were going to leave on Sunday but it was raining and we took one look and pulled the duvet over our heads again, sod that, tomorrow will do nicely...
See, why travel in the rain when you can travel when the sun comes out?
 A lovely bridge over the cut to nowhere - formally this would have led to a loop or wharves but now the canal beneath the bridge has been truncated and it destination lost to time.
 You pass a lot of industrial heritage along the Main Line
 It took me a few minutes to realise that the items hanging in that elevated cage type thing were moving, moving very slowly but moving; it took another moment to recognise them as newly cast cranks.  Nice to see we still have some industry in these parts..
 Caxton skuttles past Smethwick Junction

 We turn off the New Main Line towards Netherton Tunnel with me now back on the boat - I didn't fancy a tramp through over a mile of cold dark, damp tunnel - I know, I'm a wuss
 There is the North Portal of the tunnel just ahead through the bridge
 See that pinprick of light in the middle of the tunnel, that is over 3027 yards away
 And 30 yards into the tunnel our tunnel lamp died so I got to stand on the bow with a torch - an hour later I was chipped off of the bow as an ice statue or frozen figurehead!
 Caxton moored at the Bumble Hole on the Dudley No.2 Canal

Look what came out to greet us..


Anonymous said...

We are so looking forward to the BCN challenge - your posts are making me nostalgic for Brum - and the Bumblehole is the best for hounds!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Sue
I so wish we were able to do the BCN challenge but maybe next year. I can't believe that the epicentre of the canal network has so few boats moving about, we have the BCN to ourselves almost and it is magic!

Captain Ahab said...

You can go down Bumblehole itself and wind beyond the boom if the urge takes you. But dont miss the Dudley No2 through Gosty Hill Tunnel
to Combswood = its a gem of a destination.

Nb Caxton said...

Hi Andy
I understand that there is nowhere to moor at Coombswood due to winter moorers so we may have to leave that until we come back - or I could walk it perhaps...

Captain Ahab said...

The section beyond Gosty Hill goes through the old tune works and is devoid of a towpath as I recall. There is so little traffic up there you could either make a "creative" mooring or just journey up and back. A while ago a bloke got jammed in the tunnel and had to wait 24 hours till someone came through and rescued him!