Fancy Some Decking? 22nd April

Shirley Railway Bridge to above Lapworth Lock 6

Tilly was given some shore leave this morning whilst we had breakfast. I did wonder if this had been a mistake as she didn’t return on the first call. As I rolled up the cratch cover I called for her again, I didn’t notice which way she came from but as I stepped off the boat she was running along the cat walk. Well I didn’t want to get left behind, which is what you were suggesting would happen!

We pootled onwards, the long pound of the Birmingham level growing again today. A couple of hire boats came past, one with a large plank on it’s bow. Then a short distance on there were more such planks in the water, lengths of decking with plenty of nails sticking out. It’s as if someone has replaced old with new and just tossed the old over their shoulder into the canal. It kept coming and coming mile after mile!

Just before Dickens Heath we noticed some rather nice old looking barns and a farm house we’d not seen before. Some trees had been felled, maybe clearing a view to them. Round a few more bends the stepped water feature was working, two kids were trying to persuade the ducks to eat some white sliced but surprisingly the ducks were refusing it, maybe they prefer bread from Wedges!

We last came this way New Years Day 2020 having seen the New Year in alongside Lady Lane Wharf which has had quite a make over since then, it all looks very smart.

40 turns to lift 32 to lower

Soon after we’d paused for lunch there was finally something to do, the lift bridges followed by the top Lapworth Locks.

The bridges had a fresh coat of paint. The winding down a touch harder than the winding up but far far easier than the second one used to be.

The top lock, Narnia Lock, sat with it’s top gate open ready and waiting for us. As I walked up to it I remembered our first time here with a few inches of snow on the ground.

Narnia Lock looking green today

This will be the inspiration for the mural I intend to paint in the upstairs upstairs room at the house some time. As I worked Oleanna down the four locks I gave the mural a touch more thought, there will have to be Tilly sat in a tree somewhere, it may not have a lock as there is a small Victorian fireplace on the wall.

Going down

The wood yard by Lock 3 has gone, fencing alongside the road keeping people out. A trench suggests some services are being put in, maybe there will be a house there the next time we pass.


The pound between Locks 5 and 6 is a good length and once through the bridge you get a distance away from the road, a suitable place for cat exploration. Tilly could have a hunt around for the collar she lost here years ago.

Smart houses

The afternoon was spent trying to stow the 30litres of cat litter indoors, so as not to get wet before it’s time. Existing cat litter bags were reorganised and the 30 litres fitted into them perfectly. They are now wedged upright behind Tilly’s pooh box.

Hope the patient is improving

Another pair of baby socks were knitted and in the evening we watched an old BBC drama about The Canoe Man. Earlier this week we watched the ITV drama about the same couple and we’ve also watched a documentary on them. Interesting how differently the couple were portrayed in the two dramas, in one the wife was almost certainly complicit the other was most definitely a case of coercion.

The Knitting Challenge page has been updated, click the photo

4 locks, 6.82 miles, enough wood to build a log cabin, 2 outsides, 0 snow, 2 socks, 1 week of canoe man, 0 collar found.

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