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The 1986 Canal Holiday

First couples holiday and the first with a sprog! Peter was only 3 months old, apart from a very brief steering lesson, he spent most of the time in his box! The crew was Linda and Neil, John Rushbrook and Sue, Peter and John Fleming. A one week BCN / Staffs and Worcs / River Severn / Worcester and Birmingham ring cruise. the boat was the 50 ftish Dabchick from Alvechurch Boat Centres at Alvechurch, at the top of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Yet another BMC powered craft - no problems with boat all, in proper Alvechurch fashion. Very hot weather and no rain all week. 

Saturday June 28th - Very hot day. Left home at 12.00 and arrived at Alvechurch at 15.45. Left after quick handover at 16.05. Went north along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal and stopped in Edgbaston, near Birmingham University. We all stayed on boat and ate in, that night. 

Sunday June 29th - Left Edgbaston at 9.00 and carried on to end of Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Worcester Bar. At Deep Cuttings Junction we turned left onto the BCN Main Line. There was the start of re-development just before Worcester Bar - new Beefeater pub / restaurant going up and some buildings round Gas Street Basin. Still semi-derelict buildings the other side of Broad Street Bridge. At Smethwick Junction we went up Smethwick Locks onto the Old Main Line. Even at this time there was lots of work going on under the M5 on stilts - to stop it falling down! It was very hot when going down the Wolverhampton 21 Locks, not much traffic, took 2 hours 20 minutes. At the bottom (Aldersley Junction) we turned left onto the Staffs and Worcs and carried on until 17.00. The stop was just above Compton Lock. Linda stayed on board with Peter and cooked meal, the others retired to the Swan pub for a quick pint! 

Monday June 30th - Yet another hot morning. Left 9.00 and trundled down Staffs and Worcs Canal to Kidderminster. (19.30) Moored just below Kidderminster By-pass Bridge. Slow day, much traffic as usual on this bit of canal. People always seem to potter about on this section. Stopped for water at Stewponey Wharf. The two John's and Sue went off to a Berni Inn for a drink and Meal. Neil returned to boat with takeaway Chinese meal.

Tuesday July 1st - Really hot day. Spent most of day in Kidder. Sue and the two John's went off for a trip on the Severn Valley Steam Railway. Neil, Linda and Peter stayed on the boat after shopping. We eventually left at 15.00 and carried onto Stourport Basin (17.30) That evening we all wandered over to the Tontine Hotel (Peter in his box, on wheels) and had a pint and meal outside. Hot evening. 

Wednesday July 2nd - Left Stourport Basin, down the narrow staircase lock and onto the River Severn. Stopped for pub lunch at Camp Hill Inn, just below Bevere Lock. (13.45 - 15.00) After this we carried onto the "normal" mooring at Worcester, on the Severn,  beside the Cathedral. (15.30). We managed to rig up a two plank runway for the pushchair, off the roof. Linda declined to actually have Peter installed when we wheeled it on and off! That night Linda stayed in with Peter and had a sandwich. She apparently wanted to watch Dallas! 2 X John's, Neil and Sue went to restaurant in town. 

Thursday July 3rd - Yet more hot weather! Left Worcester at 10.00 and turned off the Severn at Diglis and carried on up the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. Got to Stoke Prior and stopped at wharf. We all went out to pub garden meal and pint, at the Navigation. 

Friday July 4th - First cloudy day. Left at 10.00. Hassled slow boat going up the Tardebigge Flight. They let us overtake! We had enough crew to drop water behind us for them, this actually sped them up! Linda cooked lunch on the move and we got back to the boatyard at Alvechurch at 15.30. We decided to leave that night, so after a good clear up we left at 17.30. back home at 19.45.

 


Approaching Worcester Bar / Gas Street Basin. Birmingham. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Worcester Bar / Gas Street Basin. Birmingham. The recovered cast iron bridge was yet to appear over the gauging point. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Deep Cuttings Junction. Looking back at Broad Street Bridge. It is amazing how late this scene remained unchanged! Birmingham. BCN.

Deep Cuttings Junction. The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal starts straight ahead, going down the Farmer's Bridge 13 Locks. No sign of the NIA yet! BCN.

Main Line. BCN.

John Fleming having a rare steer!

Main Line. BCN.

Smethwick Junction. We are about to go up the Smethwick Locks to the Old Main Line (Wolverhampton Level) BCN.

Smethwick Bottom Lock. The fire brigade were involved in a training exercise. BCN.

Engine Arm Aqueduct over the new Main Line. BCN.

Smethwick New Pumping Station. It has been secured and re-roofed. Old Main Line. BCN.

Under the M5. Old Main Line. BCN.

Lock No 20. Wolverhampton 21 locks. BCN.

Bottom Lock No21. Aldersley Junction with Staffs and Worcs beyond. We will go left, down to Stourport. Wolverhampton 21 locks. BCN.

Start 'em young! (3 months!) Neil and Peter. Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Peter seems more interested in mummy! Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Awbridge Lock. Staffs and Worcs Canal.

The inevitable pictures of Bratch Locks! Faded Snowcem glory! Staffs and Worcs Canal.

The inevitable pictures of Bratch Locks! Staffs and Worcs Canal.

John F caught unaware and in a pensive mood.

Going down the narrow staircase locks through the Stourport Basins. Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Going down the narrow staircase locks through the Stourport Basins. Staffs and Worcs Canal.

Leaving Bevere Lock. River Severn.

Our "normal" mooring in Worcester, beside the Cathedral. River Severn.

Stoke Locks. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 33. Bridge No 49 in distance. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 37. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Sue and the two John's. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 39. Bridge No 50 in the distance. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 41 and Half Way House Bridge No 51. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

The characteristic Worcester and Birmingham Canal paddle gear.  Tardebigge Flight. 

The characteristic Worcester and Birmingham Canal paddle gear. (I think that I am right in saying that all the 1970's hydraulic gear has now been replaced with original style paddle gear.) Tardebigge Flight.

Lock No 50, looking back at locks No 49 and 48. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 50. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 53, Lock No 54 in distance. Reservoir beside. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 53. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Lock No 57 and pump house, now a pub / restaurant. (Now called Tyler's Lock On The Water) One more to go! Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Top Lock No 58. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Neil with Peter (This is the smallest lifejacket Alvechurch could supply!)

Linda with Peter.

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