Monday, 29 August 2011

Stourbridge and Dudley

From the canal Stourbridge doesn't look too bad as these photos show.

The next one makes an interesting  photo, a canal bridge over a dry canal?

No, look at the scale, it is just a little bridge over the run-off.

I love the attention to detail!

After spending far too much money yesterday, mainly Ray not me for a change, it was an early start to attack the Stourbridge Sixteen and the Delph Nine (which is only eight locks but was once nine).

We had no problems at the first lock (16) but at the next (15) the bottom gates refused to stay shut, luckily a towpath walker volunteered to lean on one for me so that we could get the lock filled. Locks 14 and 13 were fine but the pound between 13 and 12 was about 16 inches below the normal level. Our plan was to stop at the Red House Glass Cone Museum which has it's own moorings but initially it was impossible to get close enough to the side to moor and we ran aground. One of the crew from the boat that was following us up through the locks went ahead and started letting water down as they ran aground in the centre of the channel.
Eventually there was enough water to allow us to moor and them to get through the pound.

After a pleasant couple of hours looking at the history of glass, exploring the workshops and watching the glassblowers in action we had to continue our journey. I could have spent much longer there.

Red House Glass Cone

Looking back down the flight to the Cone

The remainder of the flight was uneventful but hard work. I am sure it was not just my imagination that the lock gates are exceptionally heavy. After all too brief a break The Dudley No. 1 canal and the Delph locks loomed before me but once we had negotiated them I had time to relax. Moorings are few and far between, I didn't fancy mooring by Merry Hill Shopping Centre so we carried on through Blowers Green Lock onto the Dudley No. 2 canal and found a mooring  next to a park just before the Netherton tunnel.

Today's journey 8.2 miles and 25 locks

So far this year we have travelled 299.1 miles, 228 locks, 31 lift bridges and 7 tunnels.

Since Ray retired we have travelled 1034.8 miles, 873 locks, 55 swing bridges, 35 lift bridges and 32 tunnels.

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