Now a nature reserve, it’s original purpose was a little less altruistic. When the Coventry Canal was cut, joining the Trent and Mersey between Middle and Junction Locks on the Fradley flight, there was concern that precious T&M water would finish up heading down the Coventry. The canal companies were very jealous of their supplies, after all it was almost literally their life-blood. Normally surplus water above a lock would run down a by-wash into the pound below, but that bypassing Middle Lock might have finished up heading off the wrong way. So the by-wash was extended to feed into this large pool below the junction and Junction Lock. It feeds back in below Keepers.
We were up and ready to roll soon after eight o’clock, so pushed across to the services and got rid of the rubbish and emptied a loo. A boat was on the water point and this tap is notoriously slow, so rather than wait we set off, down the remaining two Fradley Locks.
We hit it lucky, early risers from Alrewas way were already on the way up, setting the locks in our favour and allowing us to leave the lower gates open.
A happy boat in Alrewas. It’s called Lollipop
Ooh, that looks expensive…
Our first opportunity for water was above Alrewas Lock, but we decided to push on to fill below Barton while the going was good. But we’d caught up with a boat here, so had to refill the lock.
A boat ahead at Alrewas Lock
After the river section the queue was longer at Wychnor Lock, we’d picked up another boat from somewhere.
The run alongside the A38 was noisy as normal, the road busy even on a Bank Holiday.
Some bridge re-numbering has occurred at some time.
Bridge 46 became Bridge 42…
“Skinny Bridge”, No 36.
Tattenhill Lock, another pretty one
And that was about it for today. Another 10 minutes saw us tied up near Branston Water Park.
We had visitors this afternoon. KevinToo and his mum Sheila came over to see us. They’re always welcome, not least because they come armed with doughnuts and pork pie! We had a good chat before they left us late afternoon.
There’s been a lot of boats about this afternoon, but it should slow down a bit tomorrow.
Hi Nick and Anne, I made the same mistake, you're going to have to get a repaint! Welcome to the fraternity!
Locks 8, miles 7