Thursday, December 04, 2014

A brush with technology.

Paul Balmer, who joined us for the day on Monday, kindly brought with him a couple of complimentary copies of the software he produces. One was the cruising guide to the Black Country Ring, which includes the Birmingham and Fazeley and Coventry Canals. With no locks to distract today, I loaded up the guide onto the iPad and gave it a go.

Waterway Routes cruising guide on the iPadIMG_2722
The marker on Dunstall Bridge indicates our position by GPS.

You can get a summary of the route to date over the page…IMG_2737

…and a final one when you stop, including your GPS position in either OS or global coordinates.
The max speed is a little awry though. That’ll be when I switched to check my email. 

The iPad (and my phone) fits nicely in the perspex lidded case I made for the Nicholson’s guides.
A very useful tool on canals that are unfamiliar, with moorings and winding holes marked, as well as locks, bridges and facilities as you’d expect.
I could stick it on my old PDA as well, but I’d have to wear my glasses to read it!

We left Fazeley this morning after a visit over to the wharf for the usual services, during which I popped into the office to report the problems we’d had on the Minworth and Curdworth locks.
Then it was a steady cruise out of the built-up area and back out into the country.

Hopwas Hays Wood rises as we approach the village of Hopwas.IMG_2726

Through the village and into the woods on the other side, most of the trees are looking a bit bare now…

…but some leaves cling tenaciously on.IMG_2731

The next village is Whittington, the canal skirting the edge and separating it from the busy West Coast Main Line.

The nursery on the outskirts is dormant at this time of year, the poly-tunnel frames forming geometric patterns across the field.IMG_2739

The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal uses names to identify bridges, unlike most of the other canal companies. Whittington marks the point at which the B&F ends and the navigation becomes the Coventry Canal. Although it was not always so. Equally desperate to see the connected route from Fradley to the Coventry coalfields, the Grand Trunk Canal Company (Trent and Mersey Canal) built this final northern leg, but later sold it to the Coventry Canal Company.

Birmingham and Fazeley Canal bridge…IMG_2744

…Coventry Canal Bridge

I think I prefer the naming convention rather than numbering. Numbering is better for knowing where you are, but naming gives a lot more scope for the imagination…IMG_2658
…or not!

The Swan Inn, on the canal near Bridge 79, is no more. It’s now a row of new houses.

I was going to push on past Huddlesford, but Meg was getting restless, wanting a pee, and I was getting hungry so we pulled in not far after the village.

Not sure if we’ll stay here tomorrow, or move on the last 4 or 5 miles to Fradley.

Hi Andy. That’s sad news about Steve Hudson. He’ll be sorely missed.

Locks 0, Miles 6.28 (from the GPS track!)


Paul (from Waterway Routes) said...

I'm glad you've got the maps working. I'm looking forward to receiving the email with your first update for me.

Alf said...

How far North are you going ? Are you aware of the new breach at the end of the site of the recent one at Dutton Hall on the T&M North of br211.