A lot has been done here to transform a run-down post industrial area into an amenity that can be enjoyed by all. Other cities should take notice. Even Manchester’s Castlefields, once such an optimistic development, now looks jaded and tired in comparison.
Our moorings, near Oozell’s Street Loop
There’s no litter on the paths along the canalside, the water is clean (here at least) and the properties are occupied and well looked after.
Just a couple of hundred yards from where we are is what was the busiest canal junction in the country.
Here the BCN meets the Birmingham and Fazeley canal heading east and north, and the Worcester and Birmingham heading south starts at Gas Street Basin just to the right.
Just through Broad Street Tunnel, only a few yards in length, is Worcester Bar. Until 1815 this was a physical barrier, as the 2 canal companies couldn’t agree to connect the canals. An Act of Parliament was required to resolve the problem, and a stop lock inserted. The companies still wanted to exert control over their own water!
Now though, the stop lock has been removed.
Heading now on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, the navigation does a sharp right turn, and on the bend are The Mailbox and The Cube
I’m able to live with the architecture of The Mailbox, but I’m afraid The Cube isn’t to my taste!
From here the canal runs under Granville Street Bridge, then out through a surprisingly green corridor towards Edgbaston (home of the Warwickshire County Cricket Club), and ultimately to Worcester, 30 miles and 58 locks away.
Back to Old Turn, and the line to the left, the Birmingham and Fazeley, heads almost immediately downhill, down the 13 locks of the Farmers Bridge Flight.
This is the start of the long descent to Fazeley, 15 miles and 38 locks away, and the junction with the Coventry Canal.
Another couple of weeks and we could have taken this route, heading north from Fazeley to Fradley on the Trent and Mersey. But with winter maintenance work still going on at Curdworth, we’re going the long way around, down the Worcester and Birmingham, Stratford Canal, Grand Union from Lapworth and on to the North Oxford at Napton Junction. We’ll be leaving George and Carol at Braunston as we head north, up to the Coventry and then Fradley.
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