Thanks to the Best Mate who was undertook nonagenarian caring duties Alex and I went to take the boat to Birmingham City Centre.
This was how we found her tied up. Obviously we had been untied at the stern and someone had retied her with both my stern lines and as many knots as they could tie around the bollard and the swan neck as well as the tee posts! Thank you to the kind hearted soul who pulled her in.
A retired vicar conversed with us for a few minutes, prompted by the WWC labels in the windows. He told us there was a lot of traffic coming out if Birmingham. "Good, I replied, that will help us"
We left in rain. I had Alex on board as crew and enjoyed his company. About a half hour into the cruise we came across steaming narrowboat tug Laplander. Murphy's Law applies and she was under the factory over the canal when we passed so I could not get a pretty picture
We met nb Kew at the foot of Farmers Bridge locks and took our lunch on board. They were returning from Parkhead Festival and had a milk bottle of bitter real ale on board, bought at discount from the closing bar. It refreshed me. The WWC for central Birmingham was their lock wheeling crew down Farmers Bridge flight and we took him with us to re-tread his steps as he needed to get to an appointment elsewhere later in the day. After the first of the FB locks I felt guilty having so many hands and sent Alex back to nb Kew to replace him. The rain stopped once we were under the shelter of the buildings that cover the secretive flight of 13 locks that form the staircase to the highly developed central Birmingham exhibition quarter.
This is the iconic view to remember Farmers Bridge by with the Telecoms tower in the background.
Now I had to consult Traveline and check out buses. I followed their map and route to Bus Stop CS1 on Corporation Street and got a 63 bus to Erdington where the car was parked. Under and hour later I was ready to rendezvous again with nb Kew and Alex.
5.1/4miles, 24 locks 6 hours
Wigan Monday 23 April 2018
5 hours ago