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Tour 2003

Index

36 - Stourport to Hatton. Staffs and Worcs Canal, River Severn, Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Northern Stratford Canal and Grand Union Canal.

Saturday 9th August 2003

Crew changeover had been scheduled for Worcester around lunch time, so the passing of Albion heading back to the BCN spurred us onto leaving at 08:00. The sun was already hot when we got down onto the Severn, through the two narrow staircase locks, without any hold up - 08:40. 
Not much traffic on Severn, one locky remarked it was quiet - probably too hot for most people. A couple of narrowboats were seen moored up in strange shady spots. At 11:55 we arrived below the barge locks up into Diglis Basin and at 12:15 we were up onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. 
Through a strange hand of fate, Earnest had never yet done this canal, Beatty only having done it once. Once at Kings Norton Junction was reached Earnest would have done all the "connected" waterways of England and Wales, apart from a few exceptions, easier to do in smaller boats, such as the River Dee. 
Crew changeover occurred at The Commandery Wharf - arrival 12:35. Tina and Bill had come up in Tina's car, which had been insured for Linda to go home in, then car shuffle at the National Waterway Festival. After a somewhat fraught departure of Linda and Wendy provisioning was done to Sainsbury's on foot. 
We eventually set off at 14:10. There were a few "bumpy" bridge holes coming out of Worcester - not a particularly inspiring entrance to a City, eventually giving way to tin shed section before the locks really started. 
It was our plan to try to get to the bottom of Tardebigge Flight proper ie the main 30, so as to ensure a free passage up with and early start the next day. We eventually gave up at Stoke Works, at 19:10, seeing as the Boat and Railway pub was doing food and we could moor next to a water point and fill up with our long hose and not have to move afterwards. Boat and Railway OK, basic fare, but NO hand pumped beer. Bloody hot night, after a rather sweltering day.

Sunday 10th August 2003

The 05:55 start was a bit in vain, seeing as we caught up the first two Black Prince boats of the day. Come 08:00 it was already VERY hot, not really the weather for a slow plod up Tardebigge. 
At 09:00 we were at Lock 43 and 11:05 at Lock 54. Much phaffing about from then on as we past the flood of mainly Alvechurch and Anglo Welsh boats coming down. Our normal procedure (which freaked some "down" boaters) was to follow the boat if front, right up to the bottom gates of the lock, then back off if necessary, this avoids running aground in the pound as the water level changes, or if the level was down. 
There was much grounding of other boats, something we completely avoided. Finally out of the top at 12:00. There had been thunder storms all the way up, we just ended up getting wet, seeing as it was still so hot. Come the Tardebigge Tunnel we only had one particularly painful Anglo Welsh Boat in front, that persisted in going along in tick over. 
Then followed a steering lesson for little Johnny, which ended up in disaster, enabling us to pass. A clean run though a VERY steamy Wast Hill Tunnel, passing 6 boats coming the other way. 14:52 saw us at Kings Norton Junction, where we took the NPBC way south, going down the Northern Stratford. 
Although reasonably deep, there was much crud in the bottom of the cut, leading to many trips down the weed hatch. Seeing as it had actually stopped raining by the time we got to the top of Lapworth, we carried on down.
Having foned up a few of the pubs at the junction with the Grand Union, it was to prove a catering disaster. Owing to a power cut, the Navigation and Tom O' The Wood were not doing food and the upmarket "Boot Inn", which did have power, would not let us four bedraggled Narrowboaters have the last table for 6. 
So it was a "sod it" carry on down the GU, with a standby tin pie meal at the top of Hatton, arrival at 22:25. The home waters of the Grand Union was made at 20:50. 
Strange bit of night boating, the remains of the Birmingham lightning storms flashed ahead, with the air hanging still and heavy - at least there was no rain. Many bats circling about. The entrance to Shrewley Tunnel was nearly missed ...........in a complete fog!


Roger and Margaret Millin pass us in NB Albion - which spurs us into action. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


The Black Star Inn by Lower Mitton Bridge No 5. Stourport. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


Approaching York Street Lock No 3. Another wharf lost on the right to riverside dwellings. Stourport. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


York Street Lock No 3. Stourport. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


Passing through the Upper Stourport Basin. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


About to descend the Upper staircase lock. Stourport Basins. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


NB Earnest in the Lower Staircase Locks. Stourport Basins. Staffs and Worcs Canal.


Looking up at Stourport Bridge, on the River Severn.


Out on the River Severn. 08:30 and already VERY hot! Stourport. River Severn.


The two entrances to the Stourport Basins are visible from this shot as we leave Stourport on the River Severn.


Stourport from the River Severn.


Leaving Lincomb Lock. River Severn.


The Hamstall Inn at The Burf. River Severn.


The Lenchford Inn at Shrawley. River Severn.


Downstream from Holt Lock. River Severn.


Looking back at Holt Bridge and Holt Lock. River Severn.


The Wharf Inn, just below Holt Lock. River Severn.


Bevere Lock. River Severn.


Worcester Bridge. River Severn.


Worcester. River Severn.


We have just gone downstream of the wide entrance lock onto the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. to get on the lock landing. Worcester. River Severn.


Lock landing and floating sanitary station. River Severn.


The Diglis Hotel. Worcester. River Severn.


The broad locks up to Diglis Basins. Worcester. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The bottom wide lock off the River Severn. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The upper broad lock into Diglis Basins. The awning to the left covers the dry dock. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The basin office. Diglis Basins. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Entrance to the inner Diglis Basin. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Outer Diglis Basin. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking back to the Broad Locks No 1 and 2 down to the River Severn. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Heading away from Diglis Basins on the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. The visitor moorings and moorings for the sanitary station are being refurbished. Bridge No 2 in the distance. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking back at Diglis Basins. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking back at Bridge No 2. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 3 and Sidbury Lock No 3. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Sidbury Lock No 3. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Sidbury Lock No 3. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Sidbury Lock No 3. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The Commandery and Sidbury Lock No 3. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 4 and Blockhouse Lock No 4. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Blockhouse Lock No 4. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 4 and Blockhouse Lock No 4. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Detail of the characteristic W&B gate paddle gear. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Blockhouse Lock No 4. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The new Bridge No 5. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The new footbridge No 5 A. Foot bridge No 6 and Bridge No 8 beyond. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 8. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 9. Railway Bridge No 10 beyond. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The towpath bridge to the right is over the entrance to Lowesmoor Basin, presently occupied by the Viking Afloat hire base. There are a few BW key lock-in moorings just inside. Railway Bridge No 10 with the characteristic round arch. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


A peek into Lowesmoor Basin. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking back at Railway Bridge No 10 and the entrance to Lowesmoor Basin. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


 Outskirts of Worcester. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 11. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 11. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Gregory's Mill Bottom Lock No 5 and Bridge No 13. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Gregory's Mill Bottom Lock No 5 and Bridge No 13. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Gregory's Mill Bottom Lock No 5. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking up to Gregory's Mill Top Lock No 6 from Gregory's Mill Bottom Lock No 5. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking down to Gregory's Mill Bottom Lock No 5 from Gregory's Mill Top Lock No 6. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bilford Bottom Lock No 7. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 15 and Bilford Top Lock No 8. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Railway Bridge No 18. Bridge No 19 in the distance. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Tollandine Lock No 10. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The A 449 Bridge No 22 A. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Bottom Lock No 11. New footbridge No 22 B. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking up from Offerton Bottom Lock No 11 at Pershore Lane bridge No 23. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking down from Offerton Lock No 12 at Pershore Lane bridge No 23. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Locks No 12 and 13. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Locks No 14. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Lock No 14, looking up at Lock No 15. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Lock No 15. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Lock No 15. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Bridge No 24 and Offerton Top Lock No 16. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Offerton Top Lock No 16, M5 Bridge beyond. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Oddingley. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Oddingley Bridge 2 No 27. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Brook Line hire boat base at Dunhampstead. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Dunhampstead Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking back at Dunhampstead Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Shernal Green Bridge No 31. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Hanbury Wharf. Since the demise of Droitwich Boat Centre this is taken by a number of boat related firms, mainly The New Boat Co, which seems to have rather too many new boats clogging up the canal. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Hanbury Wharf. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Hanbury Wharf. Bridge No 35. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Bridge No 35. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The Droitwich Junction Canal, goes off to the right. The first two locks of this narrow connection with the Droitwich Barge Canal have been restored. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Railway Bridge No 37. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


This tree has recently fallen, the pound before Astwood Bottom Lock No 17. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Astwood Lane Bridge No 40 and Astwood Lock No 18. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Astwood Lock No 19. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking down from Astwood Lock No 20. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking up from Astwood Lock No 20 at Astwood Lock No 21. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Looking down from, Astwood Lock No 21 at Astwood Lock No 20. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


Astwood Lock No 21, looking up at Astwood Top Lock No 22. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The view up from Astwood Bridge No 41. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The Boat and Railway pub at Stoke Works. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.


The Boat and Railway pub. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Works. Looking back at Bridge No 42. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Prior. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Prior Bridge No 44 and Stoke Bottom Lock No 23. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 44 and Stoke Bottom Lock No 23. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Flight. Lock No 25, looking down at Lock No 24. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Flight. Lock No 25, looking up at Lock No 26. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Flight. Looking up at Lock No 26. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Whitford Bridge No 46 and Stoke Lock No 27. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Thompson's Bridge No 47 and Stoke Top Lock No 28. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Stoke Pound Bridge No 48 and The Queen's Head pub. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 32. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Lock No 31 and Bridge No 49. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 32. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 33, looking down at Lock No 32. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 35, looking down at Lock No 34. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 50 and Lock No 36. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 36, looking up at Lock No 37 and Lock No 38. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 38, looking back at Lock No 37. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 37, looking up at Lock No 38. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Lock No 38. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 39, looking up at Lock No 40. The radio ham in the lock cottage has been there for decades! Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 39, looking down at Lock No 38. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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

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Lock No 41, looking up to Lock No 42. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 42. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 49. Looking up at Bridge No 54 and the banks of Tardebigge Reservoir. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking down from Tardebigge Reservoir at Lock No 50, Bridge No 54 and Lock No 49. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking down from Tardebigge Reservoir at Lock No 50 and Bridge No 54. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 51, looking up to Lock No 52. Banks of Tardebigge Reservoir. Tardebigge Flight. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 51. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking down at Lock No 51 and Tardebigge Reservoir from Lock No 52. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking up at Lock No 53 and from Lock No 52. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 52. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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

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Lock No 53. Looking up at Lock No 54. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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By-weir control gear. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 54. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 54, looking up to Lock No 55. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 54. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 55. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 56. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lock No 57. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Raining again! Lock No 57. Tylers Lock on the Water pub restaurant to the right in the old pump house. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Lock No 57. Tardebigge Flight. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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

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

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

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Tardebigge Yard. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Tardebigge Yard, looking back at Top Lock No 58. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Tardebigge Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Tardebigge Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Brockhill Lane Bridge No 57. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Shortwood Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Shortwood Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Alvechurch Boat Centre. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 61 and the Crown pub. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Railway bridge No 62. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Steam powered stern wheeler narrowboat. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at the road aqueduct just after the M42 crossing. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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At Bittell the canal embankment forms the dam wall of the Lower Bittell Reservoir. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Lower Bittell Reservoir. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bittell Reservoir weir keepers cottage. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at the Bittell Reservoir embankment. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Hopwood Bridge No 67. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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The Hopwood House pub at Hopwood Bridge No 67. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Hopwood Bridge No 67. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 69, in the Wast Hills Tunnel approach cutting. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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A VERY misty Wast Hills Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Leaving the northern portal of Wast Hills Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Cutting to the north of Wast Hills Tunnel. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 70. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Bridge No 71. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Looking back at Bridge No 71. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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Approaching King's Norton Junction. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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King's Norton Junction. We are going to turn right onto the Northern Stratford Canal. Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

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King's Norton Junction. We have turned onto the Northern Stratford Canal.

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King's Norton Guillotine Stop Lock No 1 and the recently extended Bridge No 1. Northern Stratford Canal.

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King's Norton Guillotine Stop Lock No 1 and the recently extended Bridge No 1. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Swing Bridge No 2. Northern Stratford Canal.

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The decoration to the west portal of Brandwood Tunnel. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Brandwood Tunnel. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Brandwood Tunnel eastern portal. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Bridge No 3 and the Horse Shoe pub. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Lyons Boatyard. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Novel decoration on side hatch doors. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Shirley Draw Bridge No 8. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Shirley Draw Bridge No 8. To the left is the Drawbridge pub. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Shirley Draw Bridge No 8. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Getting dark, nearly down the Lapworth Flight. Northern Stratford Canal.

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Lapworth Flight, we will go left down the junction canal to the Grand Union Canal. Northern Stratford Canal.

The Tour Continues...


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