Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Back to Tardebigge

Captains Log Canal Date 21st July 2010 Travels Miles 16 Locks 0 Tunnels 3 Current Location Tardebigge New Warf OS Ref SO 995 693 We came off the BCN and onto the Worcester & Birmingham canal, onto a more rural setting altogether. I think it is time to take stock of the BCN, it is feared by some boaters and has a reputation of being dirty and even dangerous in places. Things I expected from the Birmingham Canal Navigations. • Ganged of Hoodies • Stone throwing yobs • Graffiti • Derelict buildings ready to fall over at any time • Supermarket trolleys everywhere • Dirty smelly water • Litter everywhere • Drug Dealers • Drug Addicts • Murderers • Rapist Things I did find on the BCN • Pleasant ordinary people going for walks • Fishermen who smile and talk. • Very little Graffiti • Very tidy canal banks • Bridges & canal architecture in excellent condition • Exceptionally clear water • Very little signs of urban decay It is as good as any canal that I have ever travelled and a deal better than some. Having said that, I would still chose my moorings with a degree of caution. It is mostly through intercity, and some it that rather deprived areas. We travelled from Birmingham City Centre to Hopwood. This route takes you through the long tunnel at Kings Norton some 1 ¾ miles long You can just about make out the light at the other end, nothing more than a pin prick of light. It takes about 40 minutes to pass through, all of that time you have very little experience of movement. The head light gives a glow at the front of the boat the rest is in darkness. After clearing the tunnel we stopped at Hopwood for the night and of course, the mandatory pub meal. Next morning we set off for Alvechurch where I had arranged to pick up my car. Once again we had our usual problems getting close enough to the bank. The use of the boarding plank was called for. As soon as we arrived some friends appeared. We got them safely aboard. I remained on the bank, just tidying up the ropes. When I walk the boarding plank, guess what? Yes you guessed it; it moved a bit, I moved a bit more and fell in AGIN! Thankfully, this time it was only up to my shins. Once again proving how totally useless gortex trainers are in water. After a few days at Alvechurch we moved on to Tardebigge. This time we were accompanied by my Cousin Ron and his friend Gloria. Ron managed to steer the boat all of the way without crashing into anything or sinking or anything! What a driver. I know it is out of character, but as we had visitors, I thought that it is only polite to take them to the pub and have another pub meal. I mean, it would be rude not to wouldn’t it.

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