Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Finding Another Challenge

Before leaving our Oozells Street Loop mooring we had a coffee with Jim on nb Starcross, swapping more boaty tales and future plans, then it was time to head off up the main line
 passing under the Engine Branch aqueduct, through Galton Tunnel and under the Stewart aqueduct,
before taking a quick detour up the Spon Lane locks,
 only to turn round and come back down.
That was another bit of the BCN we hadn't done yet, and we didn't want to miss it. Now it can be coloured in on the map!
Once back on the Birmingham main line we took the Walsall canal turn at Pudding Green Junction, but not to go down the Ryders Green locks, rather to try the short Ridgeacre Branch.
 However progress was slow, stirring up the silt at the bottom, making the water rather black and smelly.
And before long the water narrowed and then was no more, or at least we couldn't see it.  The reeds were completely covering the cut.
A bit of reversing and pole pushing followed to return us back to Ryder's Green.

Our original thought had been to go the Black Country Museum for the night where we would meet up with my brother and family Tuesday morning, but during our journey, our daughter rang to say she was on her way to Sussex could she stop off and see us. Wasn't going to pass that up, so arranged to meet her at Wolverhampton, as the coach stopped there on the way into Birmingham. So plans changed and we went on to Broad Street Basin where we could use the services and moor securely for the night.
We met her coach at 21.40 and returned to Tacet, where it was now clear that the lovely old BW buildings
 were now used as a nightclub and it was not going to be a quiet night so we pulled out of the basin onto the 24hr moorings on the off side a little further away. We were all so tired that as midnight passed we were soon sleeping soundly.

Tuesday morning we moved to the top of the locks to await the family's arrival and to work down the 21 locks together. While we were waiting along came our new friend Andy on Wand'ring Bark, Ian started to help him down the locks until he met with our crew coming up, having parked their car half-way down. Andy had told Ian his best time for the flight was 2 hours 2 minutes, big mistake, the challenge was now set, we had to beat that. In all there were 9 of us, a big advantage, we mustered up 5 windlasses and off we set, a team ahead to set the locks, a team to work through and a team to close up.
Well our honour is upheld we came out of the last lock 1 hour 22 minutes 43 seconds later.
 Great work team, a well deserved dinner followed. The weather turned wet afterwards, which was a shame as we wanted a bit of a cruise before seeing our visitors off back to Sussex, leaving 2 girls behind to stay with us for the rest of the week.

12 miles, 9 locks, 1 tunnel
7 miles, 23 locks


  1. For the record - that 2 hrs 2 mins was with a crew of two, with ever lock against.....
    It was really great to meet you guys - lets meet again soon.

  2. A crew of nine was definitely a big advantage, but well done anyway. Next time round, you'll have to see if you can equal that with two :)

    1. A bit of family fun, it was lovely working, ok, playing together.
      Heading into your area, soon be at Great Haywood and Trent & Mersey.