Friday 24 November 2017

Hopwood (some wild weather and, as they say, what a difference a day makes)

A still, frosty, misty Friday morning – what a change from the last few days

It was far too windy to move safely on Wednesday and I only saw one boat on the move all day.  It was a hire boat, so I suspect their schedule meant they had to move.  Coupled with the rain it meant a day spent mainly indoors but at least the rain wasn’t as bad as in the Lake District during the week.  They seemed to have suffered more than usual over the last few years up there.

Thursday dawned calm and sunny but the wind was due to get up again, so Buddy and I walked to Alvechurch to have a look around at potential mooring and parking spots.

There were branches and several trees down across the towpath, reinforcing my apprehension about walking under trees in wild weather. 

At least none were blocking the cut
We had walked along this stretch in the winds on Wednesday


I called up CRT to let them know where the fallen trees were and whilst I was on the phone I reminded them about all the metallic objects under bridge 69.  Someone had been magnetic fishing there and left bicycle frames, bits of cars etc. piled up on the towpath.  Having been reminded by Brian and Diane on nb Hanser to inform CRT I had rung them up but, understandably, it can’t be their top priority.

As I was walking along, the name of the girl that we bought the mirror from in Birmingham, came to me.  It was Illia and she paints glassware and does engraving from her narrowboat called Caledonia.

I mentioned the other day that when the M42 was built the canal was diverted just north of Alvechurch.  Part of the original route is still there and is a nature reserve called Crown Meadow arm.

The original route was straight on; the new route to the left

Just around the corner from the arm I came across contractors clearing up more fallen trees.  I told them about the other ones we had passed, and they said they would be up there in the afternoon as long as I called them in.  I suppose, as contractors, they need to be told by CRT what to do otherwise they could just be pretending and charging for doing nothing.

A bit further on, we passed yet another new marina being built.  It never ceases to amaze us, the number of new marinas we come across on our travels.

New marina going in at Alvechurch

There aren’t that many decent places to moor or park at Alvechurch, but the station car park looked promising.  A bit like Hatton station; Karen will be able to park the car there overnight.

We will probably move down to Alvechurch over the weekend as it looks like being lovely cruising weather – cold but clear.

Finally a big thanks to Alison for passing on details of discussion groups about Wast Hills and the tunnel history.  They’ll be plenty of reading to do ūüėä

Looking very autumnal viewing the southern portal from bridge 69

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