Friday, 26 March 2010

Hard days work.

0 Locks, 6.13 Miles. Now moored at Ocker Hill BW Yard.

Our day started out OK but within a mile of leaving the Walsall town arm our problems began. Visit’s down the weed hatch became more and more frequent until we had filled 2 household rubbish bags. Another problem was grounding on submerged objects passing through bridge hole’s. Fishermen along the way wanted to know if we were lost as they hadn’t seen a boat on this section of canal for years.

Walsall 044Another memorial to Nurse Dora. Queen St Cemetery Sister Dora Gardens.

Approaching Moorcroft junction the channel became decidedly narrow due to reeds on one side and tree’s encroaching into the canal on the other. The channel was barely 8 feet wide and only about 2 feet deep as we had to churn our way through black smelly mud. It took over 15 minutes to travel barely 100 yards. Both Derek’s were getting concerned that we wouldn’t get through. Once past Lea Brook bridge the conditions did improve.

Walsall 045A genuine canal side warehouse.

Arriving at Ocker Hill BW yard we were told that the visitor moorings no longer exist. They have implemented a system whereby you can moor on the work boat moorings if they available after 6PM. We were finally given permission to moor on 2 empty private moorings as we were only staying overnight.

Walsall 047Bridge contractors take a great interest in a rare sighting of a boat on the Walsall Canal.

After such a horrendous day I felt the need to report our findings to BW HQ and West Midlands by email because quite honestly this section of canal is falling into dis-use and rapidly becoming un-navigable. Even the lack of wild life on the canal gives an indication of the state of the water.

Walsall 049 High reach platforms or Cherry pickers as we know them.

2170 locks, 4204.28 miles, 87 tunnels, 130 swing bridges and 58 lift bridges since Nov 2006


Andy Tidy said...

The Walsall canal represents the low water mark of the whole canal system. I love the BCN but even I struggle to raise any enthusiasm to make a passage along what has become a putrid ditch.
Capt Ahab

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Capt Ahab
You said it there is no other way to describe it. No wonder boats don't go down it, it just becomes a vicious circle