Just the overnight stop at Tibberton, we set off on another fine day heading for the moorings next to the Queen's Head Pub. We caught up with the boat ahead of us, the pic below shows the canal a little overgrown with reeds in places, as we push on.
Some pretty old hump bridges along the way that look like the brick has been rendered with a concrete mix that must be feeling its age. The whole bridge was covered in a plastic netting, I'm guessing more for safety reasons than anything else. Unfortunately, you can also see the graffiti on the bridge: what sort of person says to themselves 'today I'm going go and graffiti a 200 year old (approx) bridge'.
|Netting close up|
The walk wasn't too long, only 10 minutes or so and this was in the garden of one of the outer houses.
The beautiful gardens of the main house.
The front gates leading to the house. The house was of course beautiful inside, the feature were the murals in the main entrance over the staircase and the ceilings throughout. It was well worth a visit!
Back to the boat and we continued our journey to the Queen's Head Moorings. A stop over for water at Stoke Works, the tap was nice and fast, another half a dozen locks and we arrived with one other boat around 4pm. There were a few boats moored just below the last lock and once we moored I could understand why, it was a little rowdy at the Queen's head with a 21st party, fortunately it was Sunday so it closed down reasonably quickly.
No matter which way you take your boat to Birmingham there are plenty of locks and in the case of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal you get them in the form of the Tardebigge Flight, the longest flight on the system with 30 locks. We were up early for breakfast and ready for a busy day's work, we were also hoping to catch as many locks set our way as we could get. We had to start somewhere so 200 metres from our overnight mooring at the Queen's Head Moorings was the Tardebigge Bottom Lock.
Plenty of locks ahead!
And more locks ahead.
All the locks were close so I could get the lock Serafina was in going and head up to the next lock to get the gates open.
The lock gear was in reasonably good condition, some were a bit tough to get going but you get that. I liked the gear locking mechanism which was balanced to fall back out of the way once you started winding.
Nearing the top of the thirty lock flight now and the reservoir supplying the flight appeared. This was at Lock 50, apparently the water is pumped up to the pound above the top lock (Lock 58). It was at this point we met our first boat going down the flight, it was a single hander, he only had 24 locks to go! At least they were all set for him!
We made it to the top lock of the Tardebigge Flight in just short of four hours and had covered around three miles.
The day wasn't quite over, we continued on for another hour including the 580 yard Tardebigge Tunnel before mooring up at the town of Alverchurch.