Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Back to the big City.

3 Locks, 4.21 Miles. Now moored at Brindley Place.

After a wonderful Mothers Day roast beef dinner last night cooked by Carrie we followed it with Banoffee Pie made by Dot, we then spent a pleasant evening relaxing over a wine or two.

Smethwick 041 Winson Green prison.

Then this morning after a very pleasant week-end at the visitor moorings on the Engine Arm it was time to get moving again. Leaving the Engine Arm we dropped down through the 3 Smethwick locks back down onto the New Mainline where we only travelled about a mile before turning off at Winson Green junction.

Smethwick 042Hockley Port Arm, all 500 yards of it.

This put us on the Soho loop leading to the Hockley Port Arm.The latter is only part of it’s former self with much of it being filled in, what remains is a site for permanent moorings. This loop is quite different in that instead of being surrounded by industrial buildings you start off with the railways EMU storage yards followed by the Winson Green prison. and on the opposite side there are hospitals, some I suspect from bridge names(Asylum Bridge) were/are mental institutions. There has also been quite a lot of housing redevelopment in the area. From here we again crossed the New Mainline onto the Icknield Port Loop.

Smethwick 045Waiting for Uccello to catch up after a weed hatch visit.

This loop is only a very short one which has no towpaths. A canal contractor stores his work boats here and at the end of the loop is a BW yard complete with a wet dock. It was only a short time before we were back out on the New Mainline for about ½ mile before turning into the Oozells loop where we could get diesel at Sherbourne Wharf.

Smethwick 051 Icknield Port loop complete with contractors work barges. No towpaths here.

Here the staff were only too quick to tell us that with a fresh delivery of diesel they now had a new price of 74p per litre, up 11p on their last price. Whatever, we desperately needed diesel and including replenishing our emergency supply we took on 180 litre’s, luckily at the old price. With the temperatures over the last few days warming up considerably that diesel consumption will hopefully drop as the central heating is not working so hard now.

Smethwick 056 "Oh Dear"

2116 locks, 4168.41 miles, 87 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 58 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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