Thursday, 18 March 2010

Community Spirit is alive and well.

24 Locks, 3.08 Miles. Now moored at Cuckoo Wharf.

Cuckoo Wharf 004 Derek looking to see how far Uccello was behind us

It was an early start this morning to take on the Farmers Bridge flight of locks (13) and the Aston flight (11). A relatively mild day had us discarding our winter warmers quite early in the day as we got into our stride. No problems were forthcoming but the locks were all set against us. We were the lead boat today so as we exited each lock we left it refilling for Uccello who were tagging along several locks behind.

Cuckoo Wharf 005 A much different sight to what was here 100 years ago.

We were only on about the 5th lock when a BW worker arrived with about 10 ladies and gentlemen dressed in disposable boiler suits and Hi Vis jackets. He was briefing them on aspects of the canal as they made their way down the flight. I spoke to a young lady who appeared to be the team leader and she informed me that they were from the HSBC bank. As a gesture of goodwill in cooperation with BW they have volunteered to send a team down the Farmers Bridge flight every Wednesday to remove graffiti and help clean up the area. It transpired that their offices overlook the railway and canal and they decided that they would prefer to look at a clean and tidy environment rather than one smothered in graffiti. Well done the HSBC bank for putting something back into the community.

Cuckoo Wharf 019 HSBC staff volunteers about to get to grips with the graffiti on Farmers Bridge flight.

By the time we had done 21 locks we were feeling in need of a break so we moored at the moorings below Rocky Lane bridge just short of lock 9.

Cuckoo Wharf 007 Farmers Bridge flight Birmingham.

After an hours rest we carried on down the final 3 locks to Cuckoo Wharf where we were led to believe there were visitor moorings. “In your dreams” as the saying goes because there is only 1 visitor mooring which was occupied. Our only option was the water point mooring. We don’t make a practice of this but 2 BW workers arrived at the wharf and told us just to stay put which we have done. The next moorings are another 3 miles and 13 locks away but we have done our dash for today. Uccello is against the wharf to allow their dog easy access and we are breasted up on the outside. Had we known what the situation was we would have been better to have stayed where we moored for lunch because the site was covered by security camera’s and a security patrolman.

Cuckoo Wharf 013 Not much room to operate this lock.

Cuckoo Wharf 016 Warehouse wharves would have been on the left.

Cuckoo Wharf 017 More modern buildings over the Farmers Bridge flight.

Cuckoo Wharf 026 Snow Hill railway station bridge.

Cuckoo Wharf 029 168 years old and still standing.

Cuckoo Wharf 031No, not a canal and lock, just a lifelike representation for decorative purposes.

Cuckoo Wharf 033 G F Compressors have some civic pride at their site on Aston locks flight.

2140 locks, 4171.49 miles, 87 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 58 lift bridges since Nov 2006

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