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Monday, 9 September 2013

Mizzle and Drizzle.

As we were tied up alongside a C&RT work boat we were up and ready to leave at 0800. They told us that they wouldn't be leaving until after 0900 but we left at 0830 anyway.

The Boaters services are pristine at the end of the Engine Arm. The winding hole has the visitor mooring at one side. We weren't able to moor there as a residential boat was overhanging the corner and we were too long to fit otherwise.

The very small bridge hole entry to the Engine Arm and the aqueduct over the New Line.

From Brasshouse Land Bridge you can see the Old Line to the left and the New Main Line to the right.

The stunning domes of the local mosque could make you think you were In Dubai, except for the weather that is.

This is the new Pumping House that was built to replace the 1779 one on the Engine Arm. It was used to pump water up from the New Main Line to the Old Line. It was built on the strip of land between the two. The canal seen is the New Line.

This is the Pumping House on the Old Line. It is next open and in steam on 14th September.

Summit Tunnel Est Portal.

Galton Street Iron Bridge that spans the New Main Line. It is quite beautiful for its use.

At Spon Lane Junction the Old Line drops back down to the same level through three locks that are almost unchanged since they were built in 1772 and among the oldest in the country. Other feats of engineering, but not so long lasting I tend to think, are the raised M5 concrete bridges. It looks like they have been rigged electrically to prevent moisture seeping into the concrete and rusting the steel reinforcing rods and shattering the girder. As the old line passes over the New Line once more the canal has the Motorway supports right in the middle.

The humped back original Brindley Canal bridge contrasts strongly with the Motorway bridges. I wonder if the motorway will be there in over two hundred years time?

After several junctions we came to the Malthouse Stables just before Factory Junction where the Old and New main lines are reunited. Malthouse to the left and stables to the right.

In several places in this area the canal is narrowed by clumps of bull rushes and they are at their velvety best at the moment.

Today has definitely not been the most scenic canal you will sail along but it certainly makes up for it in interest. There is the Engine Arm aqueduct, The New Pump House, Summit Tunnel, M5 columns, Spon Lane Junction, Oldbury Junction, Brades Hall Junction, Netherton Tunnel, Tipton Junction, Malthouse Stables, Coseley Tunnel, Deepfields Junction and Horseley Junction. We saw three boats on the move all day.

Horseley Junction where our circumnavigation started.

Another shot at getting a good photo at the mirrored bridge at Heath Town that replaces an old railway bridge.

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