Saturday, 21 February 2015

We finally arrive in Birmingham



Soon after setting off on Friday we met the M5.  We hadn’t realised that the motorway runs right over the top of the Old Main Line canal for about ½ mile.

At Oldbury junction the Titford arm runs off to the south.  This was the canal that we were too long for as it is too shallow at the summit to turn round.

We passed over the top of the New Main Line on an aqueduct.

About half way along the M5 section a ‘slip road’ off the New Main Line joined us from a flight of locks.

The rubbish in this section was awful; the worst we have ever seen and we were constantly stopping to remove plastic bags etc. from the propeller.

Ironically we saw our first kingfisher for a week or so in this grotty section.  Also a heron was happily fishing in it.


We passed the Engine Arm branch which runs on an ornate viaduct over the New Main Line.



Three mies from the centre of Birmingham the Old Main Line and the New Main Line merged into one.  We had to descend three locks before the junction.




Reminders regarding the closure in the centre were posted on each balance beam.




This pumping station has been nicely restored at Smethwick.
 


Such a shame that the restored toll house has been so badly vandalised.

On the way into the city we passed numerous old canal arm entrances.


On the way into the centre we also saw our first boats on the move for four days.


There are three loops in the centre, the longest, Soho loop is a mile long.  The other two do not have tow paths.  We will investigate these with my Dad on Monday.  The loops were part of the Old Main Line and were created by the New Main Line cutting through in a straight line.

Contrary to what we were expecting there were plenty of places to moor, although the two popular basins, Cambrain and Gas Street were both full. Here are some shots of the canals in the centre.

We are currently moored just down from the Sea Life centre opposite the indoor arena which is currently hosting the athletics grand prix.


We walked around and investigated all the preparatory work that was being carried out before the leak in the Gas Street aqueduct is fixed.


In the evening we went out for a meal.  It was really odd wearing ordinary shoes; we have been in walking boots for months it seems.



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