Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Friday, 26 October 2012

Brierley Hill to Stourbridge

On our way to Brierley Hill yesterday we did a slight detour at Blower's Green Junction to go up the Parkhead locks to the the now quiet basin at the top.
 It would be a nice mooring I think but not a boat in sight.  It must once have been a very busy place as the top here is a junction with the Pensnett Canal, now just a basin,
 and the Grazebrook Arm.

And most importantly the Dudley Tunnel,  to take you through to Tipton at the site of the Black Country Living Museum.
But not for us, it was as far as we could go.  The tunnel is navigable, but with many restrictions and difficulties.  Boats wishing to go through have to pulled by electric tug, no engines allowed due to the poor ventilation.  Also the tunnel is very narrow and low, most boats would not fit through without almost sinking it first!  Inside there are caverns and many small branches and basins once used to serve the quarries and mines here.
So we had to turn around and make our way back down the three locks again.
Back at Blower's Green the lovely old, restored pumphouse is beside the lock on Dudley No 1 canal.
We moored for the night at the Harbour at Brierley Hill, close to Merry Hell Hill shopping centre, we were not even tempted to go there, instead we took a walk up to the High Street, not very glamorous, but preferable to our minds.
Friday morning we were on our way again, good to have the sun out today, but very cold, we needed the two flights of locks ahead to keep warm.
First of all, Delph locks
with restored stables near the top,
views down to Stourbridge from the top,
high level water overflows beside the locks, ducks at the top,
who we saw walk up the slope and slide back down. Think they were having fun.
Looking back to the top, it's a distinctive flight, 8 locks altogether.
Our second flight of locks was the Stourbridge locks, 16 of them, with plenty of water, some pounds almost overflowing, and the weirs or bywashes flowing fast.
This lock is almost a staircase, just the width of the bridge between the two locks and the pound actually behind the house beside the lock.
There once was a dock here, under the bridge to the right.  There is a little shop and pub, and the village of Wordsley and just in view Dadford's Wharf and the Redhouse glassworks kiln.
Passing Dadford's Wharf boatyard,
and the distinctive bottle kiln at the glassworks.
Looking back to Wordsley,
and on the way to Stourbridge, along the town arm to the bonded warehouse at the end.

Brierley Hill - Stourbridge
5 miles, 24 locks


  1. I would really like to think that the ducks WERE having fun - they all look so miserable in winter and we all know what happens to the poor lady ducks in the spring! Jill

  2. I'm not sure I'd want to try that particular tunnel!