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Tours 2000, BCN, Severn Estuary, K&A and River Wey

12 - Tuesday 11th July - Symphony Court moorings. Farmers Bridge locks to Aston Junction. Aston Locks to Salford Junction. Tame Valley Canal through to Doebank Junction. back to Rushall Junction. Rushall Canal / Daw End Branch to Daw End.

Weather SUNNY! but cold, later changeable but NO rain!

We shoved off earlier (6.30) than anticipated from our created moorings at Symphony Court . The pieces of hardwood were removed with a pair of mole grips! We went into Farmers Bridge Top lock and had a trouble free trip down the flight exiting at 7.35. We reached Aston junction at 6.50 and Peter B investigated the start of the flight and found a good few dry pounds, so started to let water down as we started down the flight. It was trouble free until we entered the long pound before the last lock of the flight. It was only down 6 inches, so we proceeded. This was a disaster as we were soon banging into crud on the bottom. Some more water was let down and we eventually rattled our way into the bottom lock (9.10) on a tidal wave of let down water! Cuckoo was passed, this is probably a safe spot to moor up. Salford Junction was passed at 9.25 and we reversed back to "do" the small section between the junctions. 
The start of the Tame Valley Canal was fairly dismal and we took the towpath (left) channel through the gauging point. This was a disaster as we rode over many Tesco trolleys. We managed to reverse back and grind our way through the more silted, but trolley free outer channel. Perry Barr Bottom Lock was reached at 9.50 and we soon were in the long pound above Lock No 12. This was at weir level, but the going was slow, with many horrendous (even by Neil's standard) trips down the weed hatch. 
Eventually we got into the main part of the Perry Barr flight, which has a veneer of tidiness, with many new gates, pavoirs and trim grass! We got through this in better time and came out of the top lock at 12.00. We reached Rushall Junction at 12.55 and proceeded down the straight Tame Valley link section to the Walsall Canal. Travelling at a reasonable speed we did not collect much weed and winded at the junction to come back up at 14.15. The junction, right outside the BW Office was in the normal bad state of the Walsall Canal and black oily gunk was thrown up. We arrived back at Rushall Junction (15.30), having a photo call over the M5 aqueduct, passing nearly a complete house full of domestic items and seeing an interesting array of graffiti. No problems with yobs. In fact nobody at all about.  
Rushall Bottom lock was reached at 15.30 and the top lock at 17.15. No problems at all in the flight. As a couple of members of crew started to fall asleep, Neil took pity and we stopped at Daw End Bridge to go to the "Manor Arms". Ian B checked it out, while we were getting ready. It is still like the description in Nicholson's, other than it does food all the time as it has to compete with a horrid looking new pub, right by the bridge. The Manor Arms was indeed excellent, a totally unspoilt pub. The smoke room was the bar!, with handpumps and stuff on the wall. The basic bar meals very cheap and excellent. The handpumped Banks's was in fine form.


Leaving Brum. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Aston Junction BCN Signpost. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

We have just started the Aston Flight. Top Lock No 1. Aston Junction beyond. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up at Top Lock No 1, from Lock No2. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking down from Lock No 2 at the A540 Bridge and Lock No 3. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking back from Lock No3 at A540 Bridge and lock No 2. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Telephoto shot looking down at Lock Nos 4 and 5 and Waterlinks Bridge. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

looking down at Locks Nos 4 and 5, from Lock No 3. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up from Lock No 4 at lock No 3. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking down at Lock No 5 from Lock No 4. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking down from Lock No 7 at Lock No 8 and Avenue Road Bridge. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up at Lock No 6. Aston Flight. Aston University looms on the horizon. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up at Avenue Road Bridge and Lock No 8. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking down from Avenue Road Bridge. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Telephoto shot looking down at Lock No 9. Aston Flight. Most of the arms off to the right were still in water.  Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

We can't work out what branch this was!!! Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking down at Lock No 9. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up from Lock No 9. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Telephoto shot looking up at Rocky Lane Bridge from Lock No 9. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Lock No 9. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Narrowboat brick picture. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Lock No 10 and BCN cottage. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Lock No 10 has a cut out for the bottom gate beam. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up from Lock No 10. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking back at Lock No 10. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

The pound below Lock No 10 was only down a few inches, but this lot was visible and we were bumping along rubbish in the canal! We dropped some water to flush ourselves along! Aston Flight. For a cruiseway canal we thought this was disgusting.  Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Railway Bridge and Bottom Lock No 11. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking up at Bottom Lock No 11. Aston Flight. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Cuckoo Wharf in the distance. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Cuckoo Wharf. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking back at Cuckoo Wharf. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Approaching Salford Junction. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

The Birmingham and Warwick Junction Canal runs up parallel to the Salford Junction. Both canals are on aqueducts over the River Tame. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

On the Tame Aqueduct. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

Looking back up the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal from Salford Junction. Cuckoo Bridge in distance. BCN.

Looking beyond at the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal towards Fazeley Junction. BCN.

We reversed up the small section of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal that we had not traversed! Under the bridge is the start of the Tame Valley Canal, which we will take. BCN.

The drunk Salford Junction BCN Signpost. Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. BCN.

We attempt to go through the towpath side narrows, but ride right out of the water on rubbish! Tame Valley Canal. BCN.

We just about make it through the the far side narrows. Tame Valley Canal. BCN.

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