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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Check out August.

Having said that I was only going to review June on my last post I must have got carried away as I ended up tagging July on too! Oh well we will just have to get straight into August now. We made our way up the Shropshire Union Canal to Chester where we had a couple of days, including Helen's birthday when we went to see an open air 'Othello'. The City is always great to visit. We left, travelling through the rock cut canal to Tower Wharf and then continued on the Ellesmere Port.


The canal running below the City Walls and under bridges in what would have been a moat.

Ellesmere Port Museum wasn't too welcoming for us to lock down into the Lower Basin but we had a good look round the place and as always found plenty to keep us engaged for a day. We then set off back down to Chester and past Barbridge Junction to Middlewich and Hurleston Junction to Langollen and stayed a couple of nights at Nantwich. As I was going home to see my Mum we checked into Overwater Marina for a week. Firstly my son and his girl friend stayed with us for a night and then after getting back some friends came for the day and then we set off down the Audlem flight of locks and stopped at Market Drayton where we were able to sample another pint of Joules beer at the brewery. Next time we pass we will do the tour.


Tyrley Bottom Lock. This flight of five locks is very scenic and seems also to be always busy.

We continued south pausing for a pint at the Anchor in, through Norbury Junction and Brewood to Autherley Junction and on to the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal, but only for less than a mile when we turned off at Aldersley junction on to the Birmingham Canal Navigation.


Aldersley Junction on the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal and the foot of the 'Wolverhampton 21' locks.




The lovely lock cottages at the top lock of the 'Wolverhampton 21' on the Birmingham Canal Navigation.

We had headed south as there were water shortages on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and we fancied going somewhere a little more quiet. Where better than Birmingham's back yard. After Wolverhampton we turned left and went exploring!


Near Adam and Eve Bridge on the Wyrley and Essington Canal.

When we turned at Horseley Junction we wondered what we had let our selves in for as it is not the most inspiring bit of canal on the system. However very soon we passed under a mirrored bridge and the water was so clear we could watch the many fish with ease. The canal wasn't as shallow and  weed and rubbish choked as the nay sayers were predicting. The lillies in the cut left a clear channel and as there was no traffic we could just stick in the middle. We turned up the Walsall Canal and stopped at the top of the locks at Birchills Wharf. This was the end of the canal until 1837.


Walsall top lock with the lock cottage and the Boatman's Mission next to it on the Walsall Canal.

At Pelsall Junction we turned up what is left of the Cannock Extension Canal. It is dead straight and has no locks but is none the less interesting to look at.



Early morning mist on the Cannock Extension Canal.

We went then went through Brownhills and turned up the Anglesey Branch of the Wyrley and Essington Canal at Catshill Junction.



Anglesey Basin with the dam of Chasewater Reservoir looming over it. It is a shame there are no better moorings here as it is a lovely spot. Anglesey Branch Canal.

Back down the Branch and on to the Daw End Branch. This was the most weed encroached and shallow part of all the canals we navigated but it had a real feeling of exploration and like pushing on up the Nile to the head waters! It was great fun.


I'm not sure weather we are ashore or afloat here on the Daw End Branch Canal.

The Daw End Branch was built to access limestone workings at Hay Head. When the Birmingham Canal Navigation and the Wyrley and Essington canal amalgamated that they decided to create a through route, the Rushall Canal.


Gillity Bridge on the very straight Rushall Canal with the next locks in the distance.

At Rushall Junction we turned on to the Tame Valley Canal and the Perry Barr flight of locks.


Top Lock of 13 Perry Barr Flight with the BCN cottages overlooking. Tame Valley Canal.

At Salford Junction the canal passes under the A38(M) and the M6 and appears to be in a futuristic world. We took the second right and on to the 'Saltley Cut' of the Grand Union Canal.


The 'Saltley Cut is not scenic, but it is interesting with many indications of its past glories. Garrison Locks and Bridges.

At Bordesley Junction we turned right on to the old Warwick and Birmingham Canal. There is an awful lot to see in this short stretch. Fellows, Morton and Clayton's old warehouse, side bridges, aqueducts, stop locks and Banana warehouses.


Warwick Bar where the water s of the Birmingham and Fazeley and the Warwick and Birmingham Canals were separated. The pillared building was the old Geest Banana warehouse. Birmingham Metropolitan College in the background.

Just past Warwick Bar is a turn into a basin that used to busy with boats working cargoes for Typhoo Tea and HP sauce that were manufactured near the Basin.


The 'Y' shaped Typhoo Basin.

After leaving Typhoo Basin we continued up the Ashted Locks on the Digbeth Branch of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. There is a lot going on in the way of developing the area and this flight will be a focal point in the future I'm sure.


Ashted Bottom Lock with single top and bottom doors to them as is usual on BCN locks. Digbeth Branch.

We found a mooring near the Science Park of Aston University and ended the month with a walk round Birmingham.


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