We’ve made it to Birmingham

At last we have arrived in Birmingham. It’s only taken us 9 weeks to get here! But I must say we have enjoyed our time on the BCN backwaters and have learnt alot about the area. We left Titford on Tuesday morning nice and early,

 

Titford pumphouse at the top lock of the Titford canal, and the headquarters of the BCNS.

Titford pumphouse at the top lock of the Titford canal, and the headquarters of the BCNS.

deciding that Charlie would work the 6 locks through, and I would handle the boat; which I don’t mind as it was quiet. We got through the locks quite quickly, as nothing coming the other way (not much traffic comes through as it doesn’t lead anywhere; only boats that want to tick it off the list bother).

Charlie lockwheeling

Charlie lockwheeling

Once back on the Old Main Line we had a pleasant cruise through to Birmingham.

Steward aqueduct

Steward aqueduct

Passing Spon Lane locks

Passing Spon Lane locks

Under the M5 again!

Under the M5 again!

Apt motorway sign!

Apt motorway sign!

M5 above with an old canal bridge below

M5 above with an old canal bridge below

Through summit tunnel

Through summit tunnel

Seikh temple in the background

Seikh temple in the background

An old building at Smethwick

An old building at Smethwick

Smethwick locks

Smethwick locks

When we arrived at Smethwick locks there was a C&RT workboat in the lock cleaning it down, so we had to wait for them to finish. This lock will be closed for repair from next week, and they incorporate a public open day when completed so the public can enter an empty lock and see the workings. While waiting I took some pictures of the Engine arm, that is also closed for repair.

Engine arm under repair

Engine arm under repair

Engine arm goes over the New Main Line canal.

Engine arm goes over the New Main Line canal.

There are many loops and arms on this stretch of canal, some now abandoned. The Old Main Line was built by James Brindley, while the New Main Line being Thomas Telford’s and is the quicker route to Birmingham. I worked the Smethwick locks as there were only 3 to do. Once through we passed Winson Green and the Soho loop, followed by the Icknield Port loop, both of which come back to the main line. Both once serving foundries and factories.

An old toll island near to Birmingham

An old toll island near to Birmingham

We arrived in Birmingham at midday, and managed to get moored on the end of Oozells street loop by the Barclaycard arena and the sealife centre. (9locks, 5.52miles, 4hours 40mins)

Barclaycard arena

Barclaycard arena

We had a little jaunt into Birmingham to get our bearings, as there is so much to see and do, and we are only on 48hr moorings. A selection of photo’s now follows…

The Cube, full of upmarket restaurants

The Cube, full of upmarket restaurants

The Mailbox, also full of upmarket restaurants and shops, and home to the local BBC

The Mailbox, also full of upmarket restaurants and shops, and home to the local BBC

New Birmingham Library

New Birmingham Library

One of many sculptures around the city.

One of many sculptures around the city.

There is alot of regeneration going on around the city. Today we set off again as we wanted to go back to the library and see the view from the roof.

Secret garden on the 7th floor of the library

Secret garden on the 7th floor of the library

It's a long way up, but the view is stunning

It’s a long way up, but the view is stunning

We had walked over this and hadn't realised it was a piece of artwork; obviously created for viewing from above

We had walked over this and hadn’t realised it was a piece of artwork; obviously created for viewing from above

On floor 9 is Shakespeare’s collection housed in the dome at the top of the library. It was saved from fire in the 1800’s and has only now been put on show to the public after being kept in storage in the old library building. It’s like stepping back in time.

Shakespeare's room in the library

Shakespeare’s room in the library

Town hall building in Victoria square

Town hall building in Victoria square

Another building in Victoria square

Council House building in Victoria square

I found out today that our sofabed is ready for delivery. I have arranged with Sherborne Wharf to accept delivery there as they have a car park near the canal. Tomorrow we need to see if we can get onto a 14day mooring, as delivery isn’t until next Wednesday. If we can it will give us a chance for more exploring as I still want to see the shopping area, the museum, the chinese quarter, the back to backs, the station…………etc,etc,etc

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