Thursday, 18 February 2010

Hello Birmingham.

0 Locks, 4.31 Miles. 1 Tunnel, 1 lift bridge, Now moored opposite the NIA.

Birmingham 003 Temporary lift bridge over the canal for railway contractors to access the railway embankment on the left.

After a very pleasant 2 days at Bournville it was time to head on into the city. It was an interesting trip with contractors reducing the width of the canal at Selly Oak and operating a lift bridge to enable their wheeled vehicles access on both sides of the canal. They had found a very good use for old tyres by strapping them together in big bundles. When the time was right they just dropped them into the canal and placed very large planks across the top to be able to drive their heavy tracked vehicles across the canal. They then removed them to re-open the canal, very clever.

Birmingham 006This railway embankment wall would have been a major feat when originally built over 100 years ago.

A bit further up the cut we found a BW boat with workers busy trimming overhanging vegetation along the non towpath side. Just before The Mailbox we pulled into the facilities block for water.While waiting, the 2 Derek’s spent their time watching contractors taking scaffolding down that had been at least 8 storey’s high. The workers had a great system going and soon had a complete floor level dismantled and were well into the next level by the time we left.

Birmingham 011 Statue at Holiday Wharf Birmingham.

Unfortunately moorings are unavailable at the Mailbox due to building contractors having most of the basin closed off. Gas St basin appeared full so we carried on just past the entrance to Oozell’s Loop and the Sea Life Aquarium, mooring opposite the N.I.A. Later we wandered back to Brindley Place on the Oozell’s loop where we knew John and Fiona on Epiphany were moored. After a couple of hours of catching up on all the gossip and a coffee it was time to find the Sainsbury’s Metro Supermarket for a few supplies before settling in for the night.

Birmingham 015Our rather damp arrival in Birmingham after snow flurries and then sleet.

With 5-10cm snow forecast for tomorrow we won’t be moving for a day or so, so in the meantime there’s time to explore this fascinating city.

2102 locks, 4101.61 miles, 79 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 58 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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