We moved on from central Birmingham today, but not before visiting the Ikon Gallery with its modern art installations. You have to wonder what whacky ideas artists will think of next. We engaged fully with one particular work; details coming up.
First a summary of our travelling today. We set off after lunch, taking a quick spin round Gas Street Basin (winding at the 90 degree bend at Holliday Wharf) before returning along the New Main Line as far as Pudding Green Junction. Here we turned right along the Wednesbury Old Canal heading for Ryder's Green Locks and the Ocker Hill Tunnel Branch.
Just before the locks is Ryder's Green Junction where the Ridgeacre Branch, er, branches off. The last time I passed this way, three years ago I think, reeds were blocking the entrance. This time the way looked clear, apart from a notice advising against navigation.
At one point we ran over something a bit hard, but we got through Hadley Bridge and almost up to the marked winding hole. Here the reeds closed in and it seemed prudent to stop and go back.
All the Ryder's Green Locks were against us and we stopped twice more for plastic bag removal, but the run down was reasonably pleasant. Some local lads were friendly and helped with gates at a couple of locks; a group of older people with drinks cans under a bridge looked rougher but exchanged greetings and warned Jan about the submerged trollies.
We tied up in the Ocker Hill Tunnel Branch and I got inside just as the heavens opened. Phew!
I mentioned the art in the Ikon. One piece was interactive and involved the participant climbing onto a wooden board and then propelling him/herself out of the window 20 or 30 feet above ground! Naturally I volunteered first.
Here's Jan enjoying the experience.
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