Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Wolves and Dudley

Photo taken 07:00 

Sue & Andy shadows 

We untied at 06:30 in glorious warm sunshine, we soon pass under the M54 motorway a stark reminder we are leaving the green lush countryside and entering a metropolis. We stopped for water at Autherley stop lock, once through the lock its a right turn on to the Shropshire and Worcester canal for half a mile before we leave it at Aldersley Junction by turning left under Aldersley bridge and straight into our first lock of the 21 lock Wolverhamton flight on the Birmingham Main Line canal.

The locks are in a green corridor, you are aware of the noise and the industrial buildings glimpsed over the top of the tall hedges but the feeling is of a secret nature trail in a concrete and brick urban jungle. No other boat was using the flight(we only passed two moving boast all day!), so this meant we had to turn all the locks apart from lock eleven where C&RT employees (working on the by wash channel) helped us through.

Factories and industrial units surround the canal for the first three miles of it's length, we made a quick stop at Broad Street Basin for dumpages, the canal then continues past the junction with the Wryley & Essington canal and meanders through suburban Wolverhampton where old and new housing developments meet at the canal bank.

Through the 360yd Coseley Tunnel, we then take the advice of Oz mate Diane to visit the Black Country Museum & Dudley Tunnel, so we take the right fork at Factory Junction onto the Old Dudley canal half an hour later we are moored outside the museum. After a cup of tea we were just in time to take the last trip boat through the tunnel, a 45 minute trip into the mines (for info click here). We will visit the Museum tomorrow.

Sue dislikes the industrial and city environs but I quite like them, after all this is why the canals were built in the first place to connect the industrial heartlands of England with good trade routes.

We have just turned right onto the Shropshire and Worcester canal

Turn left under the bridge for the first of 21 locks on the Birmingham main line canal

Green corridor


Huge Factory

Canada goose eggs

Old and new housing

Coseley tunnel

Sue aboard the Dudley mine trip boat

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