Sunday, 23 January 2011

Plan "H"

We were heading down the Staffs & Worcs for a few weeks, but we are very unhappy with the strong vibrations throughout the boat since the work was done on our engine feet and mounts, etc. The engine itself is now good and solid but, out of gear, anything under1100 rpm and everything is jumping off of the shelves - we can't open the side shutters as their rattling against the main body of the shell is enough to make your teeth rattle.
 We've spoken to the boatyard and they, understandably, want to consult with their expert (on holiday) so it will be at least a week Monday before we know what's happening. So we left B'ham Saturday and set out on plan'H'.
Plan 'H' involves a trip down the old BCN mainline to the Black Country Museum at Dudley. It was quite misty to start with and bitterly cold for poor old G who was breaking (thin) ice all the way. The dogs and I set off briskly and, in consequence, were lovely and warm.

I really enjoyed walking this stretch and it was nice to break myself back in gently with the three locks at Smethwick
 This is the Engine Branch which crosses over the 'new' mainline via this aqueduct - named after the first Boulton & Watt pumping engine to be bought by the Birmingham Canal Company
 The pumping station here has been fully restored and lifts water from Telford new main line up to the Brindley built old main line Wolverhampton level

 The 'old' line can be seen through the archway in the pic below.
 Soon we catch up with the M5 towering on pillars above us - the canal and the motorway follow in line for some distance like a tiered cake.
 And here an aqueduct takes us across the New line whilst we stick with the M5 on the Wolverhampton Level
 There's only one problem with plan 'H' - no-one has developed it beyond Dudley Museum. We can't go too far as we shall have to take MR back to the boatyard on the North Stratford sooner rather than later.


  1. Glad it isn't only me running out of alphabet for plans!

    Some lovely pictures today, I really do love going through Birmingham now.
    Don't forget that short stoppage on the Wolverhampton Flight so that you can plan your moorings or get through them..

    I wonder if we will meet? Or would that be Plan N? ;-)

  2. Sue, sorry to be so late in responding; it really is time we met up; we are, of course, acquainted with Meg & Lucy. I'll put a message on your blog in case you've given up on me here!