Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Decisions made for us…

We moved on to Kingswood Junction today. Here a short link connects the Grand Union with the Stratford Canal, and here we had a choice of route. More of that later…

It was another crisp night, down to –3.3°. Our view from the galley window was a bit  obscured this morning.

Frosty cobwebs…

…and smoky chimneysIMG_2530

Unlike yesterday when the fog and frost was burned off by early sunshine, today stayed grey and overcast, feeling very raw.

While we were out walking the hounds yesterday, Sue mentioned that this section of canal could easily be mistaken for the Shropshire Union. It has the same cuttings and embankments used to maintain the level between groups of locks.

Cutting near RowingtonIMG_2532

These cuttings also have the same problems as those on the Shroppie. Very muddy towpaths and slippage from the steep sides.

Just over a mile further on and a bridge on the nearside marked the entrance to the Lapworth Link, connecting the two canals. At this point they’re only a couple of hundred yards apart.

I bet those roofs could tell some tales…IMG_2534

Towpath bridge over the linkIMG_2537


Heading towards the Stratford CanalIMG_2539

No Problem had headed through onto the narrow canal to drop recycling off and to turn around. I caught them coming back under the bridge. You could hardly miss them!IMG_2540

Now then, from here we would normally have a choice of routes to get to the north and west. There are several across Birmingham, and one around the fringes through Solihull and back up to Fazeley. Unfortunately we’re into the Winter Stoppage Season, during which C&RT close sections of canal for repair and maintenance. Closures have effectively barred us from the most direct route, repairs to cuttings, locks and bridges have closed off the city centre from this side.
So we’re going the long way round. Solihull, Fazeley, Fradley, Great Haywood, Autherley Junction and back up the Shropshire Union. With further stoppages on the Llangollen until just before Christmas there’s no point in getting up there too early…

So tomorrow we’ll use the facilities just ahead of us, turn around and head back out onto the Grand Union, turning left towards Knowle.

We’ll be parting company with the No Problem crew as well. Shame, we’ve had a good time over the last few days, and Meg has enjoyed the canine company too.

Oh, and a couple of corrections for yesterday’s post… It’s St Laurence’s church in Rowington, not St. Lawrence. And that moon in the sunset picture should rightly have been called a waxing crescent, not a new moon. If you’re interested there’s a good explanation of the celestial mechanics involved here.

Thanks for the comments recently…

Adam, yes you’re right, technically the boats weren’t breasted up coming up Hatton. I was allowing myself a little poetic licence…
Steve, Angela. Needs must, as they say. It could be a long cold winter!
Hi Malcolm. I reckon he was doing it for a bet…Black Sheep

Locks 0, miles 2

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