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Sunday, 2 April 2017

Bargins to be had in Merryhill.

Macy the cat only meeowed a couple of times through the night. It usually takes her one night to acclimatise to life on the boat and the change from being nocturnal and been out all night to be being kept in after dark. The human paasengers had a good nights szleep and I was woken by the fact that the Hurricane heating hadn't come on. When I eventually got up I did some trouble shooting it didn't come because, I hadn't turned it on!! Still the stove was putting out heat so it wasn't cold at all.

We set off just before 1000 and headed down to Merryhill. We were soon passing Withymoor Island Trust moorings. This was originally a rail/canal interchange basin that was opened in 1878 by the Great Western Railway. It must have been one of the most extensive at the time as the lengths of moorings that were involved are the longest I have seen in a basin.

The 'island' has moorings either side of it and now make good moorings for those lucky people who settle here. Not far away was another rail/canal transhipment basin and again it is still in water accessed through an over bridge. Primrose Basin was constructed by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway company and they worked there own narrow boats between there and Tipton and the Wednesbury Old Canal where they had other basins.

As we passed through the cutting through the igneous rock that held up the opening of the canal and was later opened up as Brewin's Cut we saw where there there had been the entrance to a chain and anchor works, industry for which this area was famous. The widening in the  canal just beyond shows where and arm or wharf was sited.

 At Blowers Green we stopped to top up the water tank and dump the rubbish we had before swing left and into the lock and on to the Dudley No.1 canal. One of my cousins is off to the Canal du Midi near Carcassonne for a holiday. It has a different ring to The Dudley No.1 canal near Rowley Regis doesn't it!!

We were soon at Merryhill Waterfront and headed to the berth Amy and I occupied a couple of weeks ago. It is amazing to see all the empty shops and offices here. It would seem a better option to convert everything to apartments in my opinion.

After a bowl of soup we headed to the shopping centre as we had stuff to buy. First stop was M&S as Helen had an eye on a few bargains. We a bit of browsing and the purchases secured we were off to TK Max as we had forgotten Macy's bed so we thought we would get another so we didn't need to transport them to and fro in the future. A nice buy for £10, and we headed off to ASDA to get a couple bits and pieces. John Northwood at the entrance from the Orange car park to the Intu Merryhill centre stands out as one of the few people hereabouts that has no bag with him! In fact he was the guy that invented the glass that was used on the cameos on the Wedgewood Portland type vases, was it Jasper ware? Intu also own the long term moorings at the Waterfront Basin.

We headed back to the boat well happy with our bargains and as the sun was shinning we called into the Wetherspoon' opposite. The beer was a mild that was brewed by Hook Norton especially for Wetherspoons and for £2-25 a pint it was very nice indeed. I always like to try the mild as you don't see it that often. After a couple of buckets of wine for Helen we headed back to the boat with Helen saying 'We can always come back later'!

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