Friday, 26 August 2011

It's Raining Again

(Boat Chalice - posted by Cath)

We woke up at the usual time, to find that Lincoln had already gone, as had Jan and Dave who had promised to help John and Mary go down the Farmer's Bridge flight of 13.

Passing through Gas Street Basin towards Broad Street tunnel
A quick breakfast and we headed through Gas Street up to the turn off by the NIA. I had sent Jan a text, as they had promised to give us a hand too. Jan met us at the top of the flight at just gone 9 o'clock, Dave was already off setting locks ahead.

It was raining intermittently as we worked down the locks, but with four of us on the task I barely noticed the work.

lock under the buildings in Farmer's Bridge

The Farmer's Bridge flight passes old abandoned factories, modern apartments, under office blocks, and by the base of the Telecom Tower - there is a somewhat surreal feel to it

The locks are so close together that they have the pounds between them extended alongside the locks.

By ten fifteen we were leaving the bottom lock, Jan and Dave had done 26 locks  - they promised to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Raining - looking from Ashtead top lock into Ashtead tunnel
At this point the rain really started, so that going towards the Ashtead locks we were in a downpour.

Ashtead tunnel is immediately below the top lock, with another lock not far below the end of it. It is an extremely narrow tunnel, so it is important to make sure that no one is in the tunnel before you go into the lock - and vice versa in the other direction.

We carried on through the rest of the Ashtead Locks, then up the Camp Hill flight, then miles of suburb until we got to Knowle - the first wide locks for what seemed like weeks. They have very wide pounds between the locks.  We carried on a bit further, then tied up outside the Black Boy, where we decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary a couple of days early, and went to the pub for a meal.

More photos below:

under Broad Street Tunnel - towards the NIA

On the way down Farmer's Bridge

working hard - Cath and Jan

Some of the locks feel almost subterranean

Telecom tower - looking back up the flight

Jan and Dave close the last lock of the day

bottom gate of Ashtead Top Lock, from the tunnel

inside Ashtead Tunnel - trying to hang onto some paintwork

Birmingham to Knowle
Miles: 15.3, Locks: 30

Total Miles: 332.0, Total Locks: 304

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