Showing posts from April, 2012

Dudley Canals. Hawne Basin to Merryhill.

It was only when we were back in the water after a week on dry land in a shed that we realised just how much we’d missed it; it seems that being warm and gently rocked to sleep at night is somehow addictive. Having daylight coming through the windows definitely is.

Once we were back back through Gosty Hill tunnel and up to Windmill End we stoked the fire up and awarded ourselves a couple of days R&R. The Dudley Canals Trust (DCT) information centre situated on the junction is a smashing place and well worth a visit.
It includes a little café and a resident herd of geese, as well as a mine - excuse the pun - of information about the history of the Dudley Canals, the surrounding industry that they supported and the impact it all had on the rest of the world at the time. On a topical note, the anchor for the Titanic was made in nearby Netherton, famous throughout the world for its anchors and chains.
The iron ore, limestone and coal used in the blast furnaces, foundries and forges th…

Dudley No2 Canal. Hawne Basin, Halesowen.

By complete coincidence Legend came out of the water almost exactly 1 year after we bought her. The reason we ended up on the slipway at Hawne Basin was because John & Jac, who had originally booked the week, ended up doing all their painting and blacking in Braunston last year. As they’d paid a non-returnable deposit they gave us their booking. Thank-you guys, it was even better than we expected. The slipway crew made pulling 17 tonnes of boat up a slope look easy; a trolley runs on rails into the water, the boat floats over it, and then the whole lot is gently winched out. They do it every Friday and are very slick. The facilities in the basin are lovely; on Friday afternoon we found ourselves in the clubhouse with tea, cake and raffle tickets. All very civilised. However, that was about the last time we stopped to do anything social all week.

Here’s what we did do.

First, as part of the slipway hire, Tony (The Main Man) pressure washed the hull and declared it “Not too bad real…

BCN and Dudley Canals. Gas Street To Halesowen.

The recent lack of blog is in no way due to the lack of anything to write about, perish the thought. No, our failure to fill these pages at every opportunity is simply down a shortage of opportunities; for the last couple of weeks “Blog Content Deficiency” has been the least of our worries. “Not Freezing To Death” has been a lot higher up the scale.

For the last seven days we have been - or rather Legend, with us inside it, has been up in the air at the end of a slipway in a big shed. Because we were in a shed we haven’t been allowed to light the fire and, despite the very nice man lending us an electric heater, it’s been a tad cold up in our wind tunnel. When we haven’t been applying 30 litres of various ludicrously expensive coatings to the outside, we’ve spent the week inside either in bed, under a big duvet with all the blankets we own and a hot water bottle each, or on the settee under a big duvet with all the blankets etc. etc.
Our trip down here to Hawne Basin from Gas Street w…

Stratford, Birmingham & Worcester, BCN. Wilmcote to Birmingham.

No matter how often the British weather takes us by surprise, we are still taken by surprise. Between us we’ve been on this odd little planet for the best part of 100 years; you’d think by now we’d have got used to its quirky ways but it seems not. After spending a week telling anyone who came within earshot that we couldn’t believe the balmy blue skies, warm breezes and the need to wear a hat all the time, we found ourselves equally not believing that we were plunged into a blizzard and the need to wear a hat all the time. And gloves. And thermal underwear.

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve bimbled back up the Stratford Canal in glorious weather stopping at Edstone, Preston Baggot, and Lowsonford. Sue & Dave came to be crew for a weekend
and to make a delivery. Dave does lovely things with wood and we’ve wanted something created by him on Legend ever since we bought it. Now we’ve got this.
Gorgeous isn’t it? We climbed up the 6 locks to Lapworth on the Saturday, then on Sunday w…