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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Off and running, again.

We set off a bit late after having a really busy couple of weeks back in Hull. Counting up it seems that we have attended more than on City of Culture event every three days, and that doesn't include our volunteering either. For me however this time home was mainly taken up with sorting the house out. It is therefore a great relief to be back on the boat and looking forward to a relatively restful couple of weeks.

We arrived back at Hawne Basin, the home of the Coombeswood Canal Trust. The boat was well found and she started first time. The batteries were reading 100%. I have now lived so long with nursing batteries that now we have new ones I now think that the Smartguage is wrong! Do we ever stop being neurotic about batteries? You can just see our red side panel about half way up the left side of the photo. Hawnw Basin was a rail/canal transhipment basin and it is nice to see that the protective interlocking plates on the bridge parapet are still in place. As it is a Trust we had the first 7 nights free and £4 per night after. A good place to stop as, being the Midlands it is easy to get anywhere from here.

Burton Bridge leads into the Basin and if I come for fuel in the future I think I will reverse through the bridge as it would be easier to access the fuel berth.

I haven't really found anything out about this sculpture but take it to be an image of a boat lad passing a rope to a boat to snub it round the corner and through the bridge. Much like the current people here, a very friendly gesture.

These wood and iron ramps are all the show where the boat dock for the boats of Stewart and Lloyds fleet were pulled out sideways for maintenance and then launched back in again.

If you are still collecting logs for winter fuel it may well be worth you detouring down the Dudley No.2 as there are plenty of logs lying about. It is now all quiet passing through the old factory, and it is opened up with the over bridges between the two sites of the factory gone

The southern entrance of  Gosty Hill Tunnel hoves into view. It does seem very small from a distance.

Once again we seemed to get slower and slower as we went through. I am assuming that it is very shallow, probably with muck, as once again we (I) had to clear the prop. It is old half rotted plastic bags so we must have been close to the bottom. At the north end of the tunnel is what is left of the tug dock that housed the tug that once towed boats through. Next to the tunnel entrance the remains of the a roof can be seen. It looks like an attempt is being made to clear the site.

A glimpse of Cobb's Engine House through the trees. This housed a beam engine that pumped water out of the pits and into the canal for around a hundred years.

Just before Windmill End Junction you pass a toll island and on the right can be seen a short arm that once served the Windmill End Colliery. It is hard to image the scenes of industry that would have been the view here in times past compared with all the dog walkers of today, along with the odd idiot that drives about on the paths at breakneck speeds on a motor bike!

We are just passing the entrance of that small basin and on the left can be seen the horse 'grips' that you usually find under a bridge, and indeed there was a railway bridge here of the GWR Netherton to Halesowen branch line that was removed in the 1960's.

We turned the corner to the left and stopped at the water point to fill up. We then pushed over to the other side and moored up for the night. The fire was lit, and it was good to be back.


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