At Least They Didn’t Get in Our Hair! 9th June

St Vincents Street Bridge Moorings, BUMingham to Bridge 14 Stratford upon Avon Canal

The hire car was returned before breakfast, overnight parking had been free on the bridge. Yellow water pumped out, plants (which we’d left at the house when we moved on board) positioned in the bow and on the roof. We were ready for the off.

Karen and Bill with their fairly new Electric boat

As we came past the Lego/Arena moorings a lady waved and called out to us, it was Karen who’d been training crew on Tuptonia the guide boat last year. Back then she was eagerly awaiting her new boat NB Electric Dragon and here they were, heading back to their mooring after the Electrika Boat Show at Brinklow last weekend where they’d been showing their boat. We hovered for a while to have a catch up and to meet Bill. Hopefully see you somewhere out and about for a longer catch up sometime Karen.

Old Turn

Then it was second right, we held back for a trip boat to come through Worcester Bar, then we were heading through Gas Street to The Mailbox.

A wise old Bargee watching on

BUMingham had got busy whilst we weren’t looking, far more boats moored up. Should we stop for water, no there was a queue as ever, we carried on.

The going was slow, especially when a hire boat had no idea we were there and pulled out right infront of us. They went slowly past moored boats as you should but thankfully sped up when past. At Selly Oak they’d caught another boat up that was going at tickover no matter, so we all patiently tick on. Thankfully this was where we’d be stopping and just in the nick of time as we had a click and collect at the big Sainsburys. I bobbed into the store for some extra painkillers whilst Mick headed to the van in the car park with our brompton. The driver reckoned we’d be able to get a trolley back to the boat and apart from having to drag it a little through the cinder track to the towpath it worked. Much easier, just the trolley to return.

An early lunch, then we were on our way again along a very familiar route. Bournville was chocka with boats, don’t think we’ve ever seen it so busy. The graffiti tree is still there and so are the lumps and bumps under the water. At Kings Norton the way ahead onto the Stratford Canal was clear, I gave Mick a thumbs up, Oleanna managing to be in the background of a group photo.

We knew we were being followed a little way back, so mentioned this to aboat coming towards us. Sure enough as we looked back over our shoulders both boats arrived at the junction at the same time, both wanting to turn the direction the other was coming from. It’s quite a steep turn anyway, but with another boat in the way! It took until they were out of our view for them to sort.

Guillotine Lock

The nose of a boat could be seen through the guillotine gates of Lock 1, it then reversed back. We thought they’d gone back to let us through, but they were mooring up.

The sunshine had been lovely, but now the dappled light through the trees was refreshing and welcome. At Bradwood Tunnel we timed our passage, the sign suggesting it would take 16 minutes, well it only took 4.5 minutes. Most of that time was spent watching bats darting back and forth at the far end of the tunnel. I tried and tried to get a photo, only succeeding with several blurs, marked with arrows.

Some nice shade

The hire boat ahead of us had just pulled in to fill with water at the cream cottage, so we carried on again, our tank half full, it’ll be filled soon. Round another bend, a deer clung onto the offside bank munching away at greenery, all too quick to get my camera out.

Mick had a phone call from his doctors surgery. They discussed a tweek in his medication, a new prescripton sent to a pharmacist on our route. He’s not to start taking it until a week before he can have a blood test, which has to be in Scarborough as blood test results haven’t been linked up around the country yet. So this will have to be planned with a turn around at the house, moorings, Tilly being left in charge etc.

The power of one button!

Shirley Lift Bridge came into view. It always seems to move another mile further on every time we come this way! 12 cars held up here. Should we now stop after the railway bridge or carry on some more? This is where we tend to normally stop, but another hours cruise would be better. We carried on, stoppping just after Dickens Heath but before Lady Lane Wharf, think we spent a new year here. It was quite late in the day, only an official 45 minutes left of feline shore leave. I extended this and gave Tilly an hour. She came back just before 6 and was reminded she’d still got more time. This she took along with another 45 minutes. This is the first time this year I’ve had to walk the towpath being the mad cat lady, but she soon appeared through a hedge a distance away and came running back for her dingding.

Hooray!!! A proper outside!

1 guillotine on the flat lock, 1 straight, 1 right, 1 left, 11.9 miles, 6 boxes wine, 1 joint pork (which may need to be slow cooked!), 12 pills, 1 fat face, 1 lift bridge, 12 held up, 1 shallow canal, 1 Mrs Tilly Stamp of Approval.

4 thoughts on “At Least They Didn’t Get in Our Hair! 9th June

  1. Sandra Walsh

    I’m intrigued as to why you call Birmingham BUMingham? I grew up in Sutton Coldfield and spent many of my formative years in Brum and think it’s a brilliant vibrant city …

    1. Pip Post author

      I’d agree it is a great place, unless you are a boat cat. Tilly isn’t so keen


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