Wednesday 27th August 2008
Birmingham to Stoke Prior
We left Holliday Wharf at 0800 and enjoyed the cruise down the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. While we were still close to Birmingham we saw hardly anyone walking along the towpath: it was busy with cyclists and joggers heading in to work.
unusual boat at Edgbaston
We stopped at the secure (BW key operated) visitor moorings at Bournville to explore the area by bike (well, David and I did, anyway). Before tying up we had to move a hire boat along a few feet so we could fit in.
At King's Norton we stopped to have a look at the village and its old buildings, including the Grammar School, recent winner of a BBC Restoration viewers' poll to receive money to, er, restore it.
Then, at 1140, we entered Wast Hills Tunnel. This has iron brackets with insulators every so often on the roof: according to Nicholson's these were for telegraph lines. There is the occasional scrap of line still attached.
At Alvechurch we dieselled up. I was concerned that we might have used an excessive amount fighting the current on the Severn at the beginning of the holiday, and diesel here was a good price (78p / litre).
Another couple of tunnels, Shortwood and Tardebigge, and we were at the top of the Tardebigge Flight: 30 locks, which lead straight into Stoke Locks, a flight of six. These were a joy to work, filling and emptying rapidly.
We zipped down, and moored at Stoke Wharf. To the Navigation Inn for a meal, which, according to Jan, was good. I'm sure it was, but I can't remember what we ate now. The food was certainly better than the music, which was provided by a man singing, karaoke style, to backing tracks.
A disappointment - Not the best of days to wander around Shugborough gardens as a very misty drizzly morning was in store but the autumn colours of the changing foliage were ...
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