Black Country Ring (plus a bit):
Curdworth to Fradley Junction
10 June 2009
As we descend the 11 locks of the Curdworth flight, this situation
turned out to be rather more awkward than it looked from the rear of the
boat - the bottom gate had accelerated as Alan pulled it, and left him
on the wrong side: the beam extended past the end of the lock so he
couldn't go round, and once the boat had started to move, Jane couldn't
shut the gate either. Stephen took a flying leap onto the lockside and
tried to help hold Alan in situ until the boat was out of the way
and the gate could be shut.
The Birmingham and Fazeley Canal through the Curdworth locks parallels
the M42 motorway, but it isn't too intrusive.
Lucy at the tiller on another grey morning.
An attractive old warehouse
Merry gets the next lock ready for us
An unused swing bridge above this lock has been attractively decorated
Drayton Footbridge is very unusual, the twin towers allowing pedestrians
to cross the canal when the swingbridge visible next to the left-hand
tower is swung open, as it normally is nowadays.
We stopped here for lunch.
On the footbridge
Stephen prepares the tripod for a group photo
Alan, Sheila, Jane, Mary, Helen, Lucy, Merry and Stephen
An old building at Fazeley
The company house at Fazeley Junction. This is now normally regarded as
the end of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal as it meets the Coventry
Canal, and as the name suggests, that was the intention, but the
Coventry Canal Company failed to build the rest of their line north to
the Trent & Mersey Canal, so the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Company
built half of it and the Trent & Mersey Canal Company built the other
After some sunshine earlier, the weather is deteriorating again
A severe thunderstorm is nearby with lightning crashing around us, but
fortunately the worst missed us
Approaching Huddlesford Junction
Here the Wyrley and Essington Canal used to reach the Coventry Canal,
but it was closed between here and Ogley Junction in the 1950s: it's
reopening is the subject of an ambitious restoration programme by the
Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust.
Looking up the short arm still in water, now used for long-term
Our destination for the day - The Swan at Fradley Junction, one of the
most photographed pubs in the country.
Total for today: 16 miles 4 furlongs including 11 locks