Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Back home

Autumn scene just beyond Fradley

After packing whilst moored at Fradley we set off at 9:40 and arrived at the marina at 11:30 after a pleasant autumnal day, seeing another kingfisher en route.  By 2pm we were back home home.

More voyages next year!!

Overall journey statistics:
38 hours travelling in 13 days
82.58 miles
48 locks

Statistcs for 2016
233 hours travelling in 72 days
439.82 miles
336 locks
16 moveable bridges

Monday, 31 October 2016

Our final full day

We awoke early as we are still on BST to a misty still morning.  Such mornngs often make for atmospheric photographs so here's a couple.

Densie moored at Branston

The island at Branston Water Park

We left Branston at 9:30 and cruised steadily along this pleasant canal in the mist which cleared by mid-morning resulting in sunny and unseasonally warm weather.  After 8 locks and nearly 7 miles we reached Fradley Juction at 1:30 and have moored up for the day.

We plan to arrive back at our marina tomorrow morning and so the final blog entry for this year should ne online tomorrow or the day after.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Branston, where the pickle comes from

Last night we ate out again, at the Dragon Inn in Willington.  It's the first time we had been there and I am sure we will go again.  The food was very good - I had some halibut off the a la carte menu whilst Denise had fish and chips.

This morning we awoke to find the fire still alight and the boat warm.  The weather outside was much like yesterday's - very damp without actually raining.  Before setting off we walked to the local Coop supermarket to buy a few groceries.  On our return to the boat at 10am we left Willington and cruised back through Burton upon Trent arriving at the good moorings at Branston Water Park at 1pm.  The weather was drier but much colder.  As there aren't any further good moorings for some time we have decided to stay here until tomorrow. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016


After my comments yesterday about keeping our fire alight I am embarrassed to report that it went out overnight.  Fortunately the weather this morning was surprisingly warm, but this was spoilt by it being dark and damp - no real rain, just dampness condensing out of the air onto the boat.  Today was a routine journey, starting at 10am and moving continuously until we reached Willington at 2:30.  We ascended the 3 big locks at Weston, Swarkestone and Stenson without any difficulty, this needs some experience to avoid the force of the incoming water throwing the boat around from one side of the lock to the other.  Just before Stenson, Denise saw a kingfisher, but I missed it as I was preparing lunch.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Return to the Trent & Mersey

Following Serenity off the Trent to Derwent Mouth Lock.
We awoke to find our fire was still alight for the third morning running so after 10 years boating it looks like we have finally cracked the technique.  Our problem right now is that the saloon is very warm with the thermometer showing 23 degC - unfortunately you cant really turn a coal fire down.

We left our mooring on the Trent at 11am and cruised up the river to Sawley Lock where again a volunteer was on hand to operate it.  We stopped at Sawley for lunch and then visited the chandlery for some more smokeless "coal" and an LED light for one of our wall lamps.  Back on the move again at 1pm we left Sawley just behind narrowboat Serentity who we followed for the short journey up the Trent again to Derwent Lock which we ascended together off the river onto the Trent & Mersey Canal near Shardlow.

Another couple of locks and 2 miles of canal took us to our moorings just past Aston Lock arriving at 3pm.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

On our way home

This walk starts with a tricky climb

Approaching Cransfleet Lock from the Trent
A speedy escape when the Trent floods?
 Time to go home.  We dont need to get back too quickly so we didnt set off until 10:40.  Then along the Nottingham & Beeston Canals through Beeston Lock where we were able to ascend wth another boat.  This took us up to the Trent where we continued upstream so the speed was noticeably slower than on our journey into Nottingham.  We left the river at Cransfleet Lock, again with this other boat.  The lock  takes the navigation through Cransfleet Cut avoiding a weir.  We moored at 2pm at the junction of the Cut back with the river.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Third day in Nottingham

Looking towards Castle Look - new and old buildings line the canal

A mandarin duck in the canal

Densie moored outside Sainsbury's
 We are still moored in Nottingham though we did a short journey today to go down Castle Lock, turn round, back up Castle Lock and to moor again near Sainsbury's as we needed some groceries for the journey home.

On, Tuesday, our first night here we went to The Olde Trip To Jerusalem for some good food and to sample some of their wide range of small brewery beers, very nice they were.  Densie particularly enjoyed her glasses of Mild, a beer style not often found these days.  Yesterday evening we went to our favourite Indian restaurant.  Sadly the food was some way from the previous excellent standard.  So probably off our list now.

We will start our return cruise tomorrow morning, fortunately the weather forecast continues to look good.

Monday, 24 October 2016


Moored at Sawley

On the Trent - 1

On the Trent - 2
After a quick trip to the chandlers at Sawley Marina to buy a Nicholsons Waterways Guide to the North East we moved a short distance down the waterway to a tap where we could fill up with water.  Then down Sawley Lock which was being operated by volunteers back onto the Trent.  This as a very enjoyable section of river where we could cruise at a steady 5mph through the attractive scenary.  The only problem was the very cold wind which even 5 layers of clothing failed to withstand.

Entering Beeston Lock
We left the river at Beeston Lock and travelled along the Beeston and Nottingham Canals through the light industry surrounding Nottingham into the centre where we moored soon after lunch.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sawley Marina

On the Trent & Mersey between Swarkestone and Weston Locks
  Another quiet but pleasant day although the weather is getting colder and windier.  We left Swarkestone at 10:20am and almost immediately descended the 10 foot Swarkestone Lock.  Both this and the following lock, Weston, were very hard work.  The stiff paddle gear necessitated the use of our long handled windlass and the very heavy double width gates took a lot of effort to open and close.  Fortunately there was a volunteer lock keeper at Aston Lock, the last of the really deep ones.  The scenery is particularly attractive in places, the canal being lined with trees in between which on the south side one could get good views across the Trent valley.
The M1 crosses the Trent below Shardlow

We passed through the old canal centre of Shardlow with its collection of canal warehouses, some in poor condition but others have been put to good use.  Beyond Shardlow the canal descends Derwent Mouth Lock to join the  Trent which by now has become a very wide river.  It passes beneath the M1 beyond which the navigation leaves the Trent above a weir and passes through Sawley Flood Lock which blocks flood water from the 1/3 mile stretch of sheltered moorings above Sawley Lock were we moored at 2:30.

Statistics: 8 miles,5 locks 4 hours cruising.

Saturday, 22 October 2016


Black swan in the canal
After yesterday's excitements our trip today was quiet and enjoyable.  We left just before 10am cruising through Burton upon Trent.  Although the domestic battery light was on for much of the time it didnt concern us and the batteries  were getting charged without any problems.  Just beyond Burton we were surprised to see a black swan.  We arrived at Willington around mid-day and as the weather had been fairly cold we decided to stop for lunch and to give me a chance to light the fire.

Boats ascending Stenson Lock

We set off again an hour later, helped down the deep Stenson lock by volunteer lock-keepers and then out through the pleasant agricultural countryside.  On our way we were very pleased to see another kingfisher.  Unusually it didnt fly off as soon as it saw us, but instead stayed perched on a branch until we had nearly passed by and so we were able to get a very good close-up view.  Unfortunately my attempts to photograph it failed, just capturing rather a good picture of some willow leaves.

We moored at Swarkestone at 3pm after a journey of 10 miles and 2 locks.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Did we have a major problem?

On the River Trent section near Wychner
 We left Fradley at 9:20 and cruised to Alrewas descending 4 locks.  There we stopped to shop at the excellent Coates butchers.  Then on the move again down Alrewas Lock to the short stretch where the Trent& Mersey Canal makes use of the River Trent.  This section is closed when the river is in flood but all was calm today.   The canal drops down from the Trent at Wychnor and makes its way alongside the very busy and noisy A38 towards Burton upon Trent.

There was a large column of black smoke in the distance which got closer the further north we travelled.  It became clear that the fire was in Barton Marina and passing by the entrance we saw that a number of boats were on fire.  Checking the news later it seems one cruiser was sunk and two or three others also caught fire.  Although fortunately the boats were unoccupied at the time, nearby boaters were treated for the effects of smoke inhalation and the Air Ambulance was in attendance.

A bit further on Denise noticed that our domestic battery light was flickering.  This was worrying as it indicated that our batteries may not be charging or there was some electrical fault that could damage them.  We stopped as soon as we could and I checked the fan belt and battery voltages.  Everything seemed OK, but the light should not have been flickering.  So I rang the nearest boatyard at Shobnall  marina in Burton.  I was advised that it was safe to continue and they could check the alternator when we arrived.  We were very concerned as if there was a serious problem our journey would have been cut short before it had really begun.  We arrived at the boatyard just before 4pm and the alternator was quickly checked.  The technician diagnosed the problem as one he had seen before - the diode controlling the warning light was failing but apart from that the alternator was fine.  The diode needed replacing but it wasnt urgent, we were safe to carry on.  Phew!!!

We have moored up for the night just outside Shobnall marina.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Out again for the 4th time this year

We are out again, the weather is bright and the forecast good.  After packing clothes and food this morning we arrived at the boat at around 11am.  Then a trip round to Waitrose to to buy some groceries for the next few days.

Densie finally left her moorings at 1pm and we cruised down the Trent & Mersey through Woodend Lock and on to Fradley.  At Woodend there was a CRT notice saying that the top paddle was partially blocked but should be used.  As far as I could see, raising the paddle had no effect whatsoever, however the gate paddle soon filled the lock for us to enter.  Between Woodend and Fradley we were delighted to see a kingfisher, I think our first one this year.
Ready to leave Middle Lock at Fradley

At Fradley we descended Shadehouse, Middle and Junction Locks to arrive at the good Fradley moorings at 3pm where we moored for the night.  While I was typing this it started to rain heavily so a good job we werent tempted to get some more miles completed.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Back Home

Change of plans - we went home on Tuesday in one go rather than staying out another night.

So that's our travelling for the time being - more news when we go out again.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Great Haywood and the Trent & Mersey

Bricks missing from the Sow Aqueduct

Boats moored at Great Haywood Junction
The dark, damp, drizzly and generally unpleasant morning delayed our departure until 11am when the clouds began to lighten a little.  Fortunately the weather improved as we travelled the remaining 4 miles and 1 lock to Great Haywood where the Staffs & Worcs Canal joins the Trent & Mersey.  Passing over the aqueduct over the River Sow we were disappointed to see that there were even more bricks missing than we had seen earlier this year.  I am not sure whether people steal them or they are knocked off by passing boats.  I will report this to CRT.

At the lock, Tixall Lock, there were unusually 2 hireboats ahead of us waiting to descend.  One was crewed by a group of Swedes out on the second day of their first ever canal boat holiday and the other by a Dutch couple. 

When we eventually reach Great Haywood it was lunch time and we were due to descend a further two locks in the next mile or so we moored up to eat with the intention of moving on afterwards.  However as usually happens we never summoned the enthusiasm to move on.  So here we stayed.  After all it doenst matter if we take an extra day getting home.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

North from Penkridge

Teddesley Bridge near Penkridge - built for a driveway to Teddesley House, demolished in 1954.
 After the heavy rains of yesterday it was a dry day today so we left Penkridge at 9:30, stopping off to fill up with water, and then down the locks travelling north. An unexpected number of boats on the move resulted in most locks being set in our favour and in many cases we didnt need to close the gates on leaving as there were boats waiting to come up.

We moored at Baswich at lunchtime near where a local group has started excavating an old waterway into Stafford with a view to restoration.  So we had a quick look around the site and then returned to the warmth of the boat.  Research on Google came up with the information that the canal was built in the 1810's and by the 1920's had become derelict and was filled in.  Until the excavations there was virtually nothing to show that the canal had once existed.

Statistics - 6.16m, 5 locks in 3hours 15 mins

Friday, 2 September 2016


We only travelled during the morning, starting when the rain stopped at 9:30 and mooring at Penkridge at lunchtime.  If we leave on Sunday we should be back home as planned on Tuesday.   Saturday is forecast to be pretty wet so it seem sensible not to move then anyway.

This evening we will be eating out at the Littleton Arms at Penkridge where the food has been good on previous occasions.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Homeward bound on the Staffs & Worcs

 We are now on our way home.  We do not want to arrive back on Monday as our marina is closed which means we cannot empty the waste tank and refill with petrol, so Tuesday it must be.  After all our work in the past few days this gives us a highly welcome leisurely journey of no more than 3 hours travelling each day.

The first of today's activities was to empty our waste tank as we cant last until Tuesday of next week.  The pumpout point is on the Shropshire Union Canal just off the Staffordshire & Worcestershire. So we went through the stop lock separating the two canals, got the tank emptied for £20, the highest charge we have ever met, and then skilfully reversed the boat back into and through the lock to return to the Staffs & Worcs.

Narrow cutting on the Staffs & Worcs
Then we were on our way cruising in bright sunshine down this familiar but attractive canal for the next 2.5 hours, finally mooring out in the countryside in time for lunch.  The picture shows Densie travelling through a cutting on the Staffs & Worcs which is only wide enough for one boat, though there are a couple of passing places.  Brindley's route took the canal through an area of very hard rock so the canal was built narrower there presumably to reduce costs.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Goodbye Birmingham

Modern flats overlooking the canal at Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton top lock
Another long day in mostly sunny weather.  First job in the morning was to walk the short distance to Sainsbury's to stock up with groceries again.  At 9:30 we set off south on the Wyrley and Essington and turned right at Horsley Fields Juction onto the Main Line which took us into Wolverhampton, all at about 500 foot above sea level. The attractive top lock located only a short walk from central Wolverhmpton marks the start of the 21 lock Wolverhampton flight dropping 132 foot from the Birmingham hills.

As usual one of us drove the boat and the other did most of the work on the lock, roles which we swapped over every three locks.  The flight was hard work as we had to fill almost every lock before we could enter and some of the time we were working the locks for a single handed boater in front of us. Fortunately we were helped by the crew of the hire boat behind us which enabled whichever of us was working the locks to walk on ahead to get the next lock ready.  We finally reached the bottom at around 3pm and moored up half a mile from the end of the flight near Autherley Junction on the Staffs and Worcestershire Canal.

Statistics 4.13 miles, 21 locks, 5hr 56min

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The Festival is over - on our way home

After a very tiring weekend culminating in a solid 3 hour session yesterday evening packing the contents of the IWA stand into vans we are ready to start on our journey home.  We left Pelsall shortly after 9am and cruised west on the curly Wyrley for 5 1/2 hours including a stop to fill up with water.  The journey was pretty slow thanks to the shallow, narrow and weedy canal but in the bright sunshine it looked very attractive for much of the way.  Another boat had warned us that they had to stop to clear weed around their propellor about 7 times when going to the Festival by this route but we only needed to stop once and there wasnt a lot of weed.

At 3 pm we moored at Wednesfield where we had spent the night on our Explorer cruise 9 days ago.

Statistics - 11.04 miles, 5.5 hours, 0 locks

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Working at the IWA Festival of Water at Pelsall

IWA Festival of Water at Pelsall
We were working at the Festival of Water for most of yesterday behind the counter on the IWA stand.  Business was steady though the tent got very crowded when a very heavy rain shower with some thunder and lightning passed by.  It was good to meet both boaters who ahd travelled here for the Festival and local residents interested in what was going on.  Today we just worked from 11am to 2pm and were able to spend the rest of the time looking around the festival and enjoying a rather good curry meal and a glass of beer.

Tonight we will be meeting up with our fellow Explorers at the bar and watching the illuminated boat parade where people who have decorated their boats with lights and bunting will cruise in a line up and down the canal past the festival site.

Friday, 26 August 2016

We arrive at the IWA Festival of Water at Pelsall

Oggley Junction

The countryside from the Anglesey Arm
We were on the move by 7:45 because we needed to fill up with water before the festival.  We know we can survive for a week on a tank of water but we last filled up on Monday on the Walsall flight and wont have another chance until Tuesday next week.  The journey back down the Anglesey Arm was much more pleasant than yesterday as the weather was warm and sunny.  The pictures show the rural scenary and Oggley Junction where one day the Lichfield Canal, currently under restoration, will join the Anglesey Arm to provide easy access to the northern Birmingham canals.

The curly Wyrley between Brownhills and Pelsall
We rejoined the Wyrley and Essington (curly Wyrley) Canal at Catshill Junction and half a mile later cruised into Brownhills.  Denise left the boat to visit the local supermarket whilst I waited for the water tap to become free.  This didnt take long and by the time I had refilled the boat with water Denise had arrived wth the shopping. We immediately set off to Pelsall for the festival.  At that point there was a phone call from one of the other explorer group boats to say that the canal was blocked by a fallen tree near Pelsall.

We travelled down the very attractive couple of miles to the blockage and waited there with 4 other boats.  CRT were already working on the tree and soon had sufficient branches removed to provide a clear passage.  By 11am we were moored up at the festival site.

During the afternoon we worked setting up the IWA stand and in the evening we will be joining in with the supper of traditional Black Country faggots and peas and a boaters quiz.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Anglesey Basin and Chasewater reservoir

On the Daw End Branch
The weather was grey, misty and cool as we set off at 9:10.  Today's lock free journey took us north from Longwood Boat Club along the Daw End Branch through very attractive rural scenary.  It was a surprise to realise that the centre of Walsall was less than 2 miles away.

Blackcock Bridge
 4 miles on took us to Blackcock Bridge where the effects of subsidence caused by the collapse of coal workings is obvious from the metal column protecting the brickwork from the ropes of horse drawn boats being about half the normal height with the cut grooves going down to footpath level.  As the ground fell it was necessary to raise the canal banks to retain the level of water.  Further evidence comes from the slots below the bridge where jacks were placed to raise the bridge to keep the required headroom above the canal prior to adding new courses of bricks.
Anglesey Basin
We turned right a mile later at Brownhills onto the Angelsey Arm which passes beneath the M6 Toll
to finish in a lake, formerly a busy basin where narrowboats were filled with coal from the many nearby pits.  We turned round there and moored along the canal side in heavy rain.
Chasewater Reservoir
Once the rain stopped in the late afternoon we walked the short distance to the impressively large Chasewater Reservoir from where water flows down the Angelsey Arm to help supply the whole of the Birmingham canal system.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Rushall Canal and Longwood Boat Club

On the Thame Valley Canal
Last night after dinner on the boat we enjoyed a pleasant canal side get together for everyone on the cruise.  This morning we set off just before 9am and cruised south on the Walsall Canal for about a mile to the Thame Valley Junction at Ocker Hill.  Here we were able to dump our rubbish before turnng left onto the Thame Valley Canal.  Constructed in 1844, this canal provided a route around the congestion of central Birmingham and was one of the last Birmingham Canals to be built.  According to our guide book, the section we travelled between Ocker Hill and Rushall Junction is the dreariest canal on the whole Birmingham network.  Harsh but certainly arguable.  It follows a straight course, apart from a couple of minor adjustments, for 3.5 miles through undistinguished countryside dominated by electricity pylons.  In places it is rather shallow and there is a lot of floating rubbish.
Meeting a boat on the Rushall Canal
Approaching the bottom lock on the Rushall Locks
At Rushall Junction we turned left onto the much more attractive but slightly later Rushall Canal.  A couple of our fellow boaters saw a kingfisher here, sadly we missed out.  The canal is lined with trees and is surprisingly rural passing through an area of what looked like rough pasture fields completely surrounded by Birmingham housing.  On the negative side it is shallow with a lot of water lilies and waterweed which leads to slow progress and the potential for visits down the weed hatch to clear the propellor.  There were 9 locks to ascend before we reached our overnight mooring at Longwood Boat Club.  On most of the locks we were helped yet again my members of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society.

This afternoon we were treated to tea and cakes provided by the Boat Club and this evening we will be dining together at a fish and chip supper.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

A walk down the Bradley Canal

Bradley Canal

Route of Bradley Canal - note the "steps" indicating the locks
We left Walsall Town Basin at 9:30 and arrived at Moorcroft Junction at 12:00 after a slow but lock free journey.  Here the now closed Bentley Canal joined the Walsall Canal.  After a quick bite to eat we set off on the organised walk up the line of the Bentley Canal.  Part of it is in water but heavily overgrown but the remainder just exists as a footpath.  However the locations of the presumably buried locks can clearly be seen from the topography.

Bradley Workshop

Plastic paddle
Next on our itinerary was the CRT Bradley workshop, one of two in the country devoted to making lock gates.  Each lock gate is unique, being built to exact measurements made on location and is the responsibility of one carpenter. One of the people showing us around said that after working there for 23 years he had started to build replacements for gates he had built in his youth.  It was interesting to compare an 18th century plan for a gate with those used now - there was virtually no difference.  The design was the same even down to the shape of the paddle operating gear.  There is one technical difference - the lock paddles are now often made out of plastic rather than the traditional elm.  This makes them lighter and easier to operate as well as lasting longer.  We returned at 5 pm after a short diversion to a local pub - after several hours out in the sunshine we were all getting very thirsty.

Statistics 4.99 miles, 0 locks,2 hours 35 mins
The convoy moored at Moorcroft Junction
RCR engineer in the canal

The tyre is removed
On the way down the canal one of the boats had managed to get a tyre firmly stuck on her propellor and had to be towed into the moorings.  Despite efforts by other boaters the tyre had proved impossible to remove.  RCR (the RAC/AA of the waterways) were called out and one of their staff arrived soon after we got back to our boat.  He put on a wet suit, went into the canal and after perhaps 15 minutes energed triumphant with the badly damaged tyre.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Into Walsall

Travelling along the curly Wyrley

The day started with a meeting with a local councillor who gave a brief talk and some photos were taken for the local press. There followed a briefing by the cruise leader after which all 16 boats set off in line along the curly Wyrley.  Progress was slow initially as the distance between each boat was increased but after 15 minutes settled down to a moderate pace.  The canal meanders through he suburbs of Wolverhampton but these are frequently hidden by the rampant vegetation.  The canal is shallow with a fair amount of litter, mainly plastic bottles as the plastic bag ban seems to have helped considerably.

About half way into the journey several of the boats stopped to take on water but we had sufficient to last a few more days.Soon afterwards we found one of our boats stopped, partially obstructing a bridge hole.  They had picked up a large amount of tarpaulin around their propellor and were having some difficulty removing it.  We moored and I went round to help and was able to remove the last few pieces.  We were then both able to go on our way, leaving the curley Wyrley at Birchills Junction to travel down the Walsall Canal.

Descending the Walsall flight

Moored at Walsall Town Basin
 A short cruise brought us to the top of the 8 lock Walsall flight which took us down into the town.  We were helped by the same group of BCNS members who had assisted with the passage through Tipton Locks on Sunday.  At the bottom of the locks a sharp left turn took us onto the Walsall Town Arm terminating at the modern basin near the main shopping streets.All bar one of our boats are now moored there filling it completely.

We went for a walk into Walsall town centre which has useful supermarkets and the normal shops found in any town centre but little else of interest. Sadly the Leather Museum is closed on Mondays.

Statistics - 7.76 miles, 8 locks, 5 hours 15 minutes

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The curly Wyrley

On the Main Line

About to enter Cosleley tunnel
 The boats on the cruise set off at different times during the morning.  Those wanting to explore one of the now blocked canals left early whilst we waited until 10am as we were happy to travel directly to our destination.  A short distance down the canal the old and new main lines merge at Tipton Junction.  The subsequent journey was slow but pleasant with much of the surrounding industry and derelict land hidden by trees.   We passed through the 360 yard Coseley tunnel and 4 miles later reached Horseley Fields Junction in Wolverhampton where we turned right onto the Wyrley and Essington Canal which follows a very winding path around the north of Birmingham hence its nickname of the "curly Wyrley".

From here on the boat felt heavy and sluggish although the GPS indicated a speed of 2.5mph which is reasonable particularly if the canal is shallow.  Our designated mooring was about a mile up the curly Wyrley next to a large shopping and entertainments retail park about half a mile from Wednesfield, a town that now forms part of the Birmingham/Wolverhampton conurbation. After mooring there I opened the weed hatch to clear any rubbish picked up by the propellor during our journey and found what turned out to be sufficient torn plastic to fill a kitchen rubbish bag wrapped around the propellor.  How the boat managed to move at all, let alone reach a moderate speed, I dont know.

Boats moored in the short stub of thr Bentley Canal
Sadly the retail park was constructed directly over the Bentley Canal and so what would have been a useful route across Birminghham has been lost forever.  All that remains at this location is a short stub where 7 of our group's boats were able to moor.

After lunch we spent some time in the adjacent Sainsburys to stock up again with groceries and while I took the shopping back to the boat Denise explored the other shops.