Oh BUM………ingham! 16th April

Cambrian Wharf

How did they do that? You turn your back for one minute! They go and tie up BUMingham again!

Bricks Bricks Brick!

This bit of BUMingham has lots of bricks but mainly on the bottom, it also has a lock for moving the outside up and down. I don’t often get to sniff these things and She wasn’t too keen on me doing that. To be truthful I wasn’t too keen on doing much in BUMingham anyway. Far too many Shes and Toms about the place and some of them were moving the outside with all three of us in it. I so hope they’ve tied BUMingham up very very well!

Hmmm, how do they move these things up and down?

The first boat into the locks was at 8am.

Down bang on 8am

Last night we’d heard the lock being filled, it was dark. Mick peeked out of the curtains and could see Coal Boat Roach being bow hauled into the lock, it looked like Rich was wearing waders. We didn’t think that Farmers Bridge was on his normal route and he’d been moored up in the afternoon, fully laden with coal. What do we know?

Then quite a while later we could hear the top paddle being wound up again, the lock was filling. It carried on filling and filling and filling. Was someone trying to empty the Birmingham level?! A chap had gone down the locks earlier single handing leaving paddles up.

Zoom not working properly this morning

No this was Rich from Roach again. ? Mick went out to see what was happening.

During the day Roach had managed to get a bicycle around its prop. To remove it they had dropped Roach into the first pound down the flight, then drained that pound so that the problem could be dealt with easier out of the water, hence the waders. A bright green bike was pulled off the prop, the pound refilled and Roach was brought back up onto the Birmingham level.

After half an hour we got pictures but no-one could hear us

Today didn’t start off quite so exciting. The Flapper pub across the way is very much open again and last night proved to be a popular place for birthdays, we think things died down there at around 1am. Our mooring may be handy but it is noisy, however it will serve our purposes until after Easter.

The Antony Gormley is back in town in a slightly new position

After having difficulty joining the Geraghty Zoom Mick headed off to pick up a hire car from Budget at Birmingham Airport. He’d hunted round for the best deal over the Easter weekend and this was the one around about £120 for 3 days. A reckie for parking places nearby had been done and he’d registered with RingGo Parking. This left Tilly and myself onboard pottering.

Scrubbing to get rid of the graffiti

The boat dipped! Hang on! Yes you guessed it someone was having their photo taken stood on the stern of Oleanna. They were apologetic when I asked if I could go and stand in their living room to have my photo taken!

Blimey it’s busy all of a sudden!

The general hubhub gradually increased over the next hour, followed by dull thudding noises. I peeked out through the curtains to see twenty maybe more young men gathered around the lock, the thudding noise was coming from them taking it in turns to jump across the chamber.

How many narrow locks have we seen with memorials alongside for people who’ve tried to jump across, usually under the influence of alcohol, and it’s all gone very wrong! This was my first thought.

Then as I watched it was very obvious that they knew what they were doing making the jump look so so easy. These were free runners. There are several places in Birmingham where you can train to free run, but I suspect it’s a lot cheaper to jump over the top lock at Farmers Bridge! It also seemed to be a big social thing.


Several people took photos, others filmed the more experienced runners. The younger chaps just jumped the chamber, others continued on to jump up the wall opposite towards the scaffolding, one or two more did summersaults. Everyone practicing their particular moves, wiping dust from the soles of the trainers before setting off.

Tilly was interested too, so we went out the back to watch. I could show them a thing or two! But I’ll leave it for now.


It was interesting watching them all, yes there was some danger in their actions, but I wouldn’t be the one to haul someone out of the lock with a head injury. The skill that some of these chaps had was impressive. A couple of old queens sat on the bench watching them, maybe attracted by the skill or maybe just by the six packs on display!

After an hour they gradually moved off, heading into the city centre in front of the library to practice tumbles along with the street dancers.

Cass Art window

Now the entertainment had finished I headed to stock up on card to make models from. As we’ll be on totally new waters in a few weeks I’d rather have what I need on board already to make a white card model for Panto. Once I was back, the drawing board slot was emptied, new card added to the big folder of card and then everything stowed away again until needed.

Our mooring at the top of Farmers Bridge

We sat back, enjoyed our evening meal, then wondered what time The Flapper would close tonight! Cambrian Wharf eventually quietened down at around 1am again.

0 locks, 0 miles, 1 train, 1 hire car, 1 photo, 30 plus free runners, 0 injuries, 1 cat wanting to join in, 1 new hobby for Mick? 2 sheets card, 1 designer ready to design, 1 very noisy pub.

4 thoughts on “Oh BUM………ingham! 16th April

  1. jennie230

    That is certainly very impressive skills from those young men – you were lucky to have such a good view. I love that window display. I hope you had an enjoyable Easter weekend. Jennie x

    1. pipandmick Post author

      Thank you Jennie. Easter was a bit more like hard work!
      Hope your Easter was enjoyable.
      Pip x

    1. Pip

      It’s amazing how many people have seen that clip. I didn’t come across it till well after I’d posted my footage.

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