Final day of the Explorer cruise

The first port of call on Saturday morning was a trip to Tipton library for a talk on the 10 reasons Tipton was famous and the lost canals of Tipton. This was a very interesting and informative talk with a slideshow. Tipton had many canals in the canal era, serving factories and mines. Most have now been abandoned. Where there were once factories, housing estates have been built. It was interesting to see old map pictures of the way the canals once looked; and modern day comparisons of how they look now. The Black Country had the largest coal seam in the world, being 30 feet deep; which is why in some places the canal is 30 feet above the houses. They didn’t mine under the canal! After the talk we headed off again bearing left at Tipton junction onto the Old Main Line, passing over the Tividale aqueduct (over the entrance to the Netherton tunnel), around Oldbury, passing under the M5 motorway to Oldbury junction. We then did a sharp right to ascend the Oldbury locks. I was quite pleased with myself as I was steering and managed to get the boat round without any mishap.

6 locks to ascend on the Oldbury flight; or otherwise known as The Crow

6 locks to ascend on the Oldbury flight; or otherwise known as The Crow

Once through we had the opportunity to visit the Titford pools. So we carried on with another boat as it can be shallow in places. The BCNS is hoping to regenerate the Titford canal and pools, and as part of this project they want as many boats as possible to visit the area. We will receive a plaque to say we have done it. (6locks, 6.53miles, 3hours 30mins)

Entrance to the main pool

Entrance to the main pool

Boat behind called Dodgey

Boat behind called Dodgey

M5 columns

M5 columns

Entering the smaller pool

Entering the smaller pool

Dodgey following

Dodgey following

We have submitted our photo’s and our form so will receive our plaque in the post, as the society didn’t have any available.

Once moored we had a social evening with Chinese and a quiz in the BCNS clubhouse at Titford pumphouse. Our team won the quiz and enjoyed a box of chocolates to share.

A sign in the clubhouse

A sign in the clubhouse

Today most of the boats have departed, some going back to their bases, and others cruising for the summer. We may see some again who knows. The cruise has been tiring but very enjoyable. We have been given another plaque for our collection. It has given us the experience of travelling with other boats, and seeing a part of the canal network that is rarely cruised due to it’s bad reputation. Next stop will be Birmingham city centre. Today (Sunday) we have helped with some lockwheeling, made a cake and now it’s time for a rest.

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