We made our way round to Factory locks and for the first time in several days met another boat travelling, they were hirers out from Alvechurch and cautiously watching our every move as these were the first locks they had come to.
Tucked into some of the old canal arms are boatyards and moorings,
we were soon back onto now familiar waters along the Birmingham level main line back to moorings by the NIA.
We were back to meet up with Captain Ahab and Belle, http://captainahabswaterytales.blogspot.co.uk/ boaty, bloggy buddies we have got to know over the past 18 months. We enjoyed a lovely, fun, chatty evening with them and look forward to meeting them again soon.
Then yesterday we were off again along the main line and to Netherton Tunnel, past the
refurbished canal cottages, under the old mainline, Tividale aqueduct,
to the tunnel portal, it is a long, wide tunnel with a towpath on both sides.
Coming to the other end, Windmill End Junction, we could see faces looking round the opening and hear the sounds of mischief. So I got ready at the front of the boat with a camera and my stern school voice, but it wasn't needed, as we came out they thought better of making trouble and set off on their bikes.
Then again maybe we misjudged them.
Set up above the canal is Cobbs Engine House, which was housed a steam engine to pump water out of the mines here, mines where not just coal, but iron and clay were dug.Attractive moorings down the Bumblehole branch, in an area of parkland, with some brave
souls sitting outside the cafe, enjoying the waterway. Although the weather is a bit brighter and dry, it is getting colder. We need more locks to keep warm!
Black Country Museum - NIA
8 miles, 3 locks
NIA - Brierley Hill
12 miles, 7 locks, 1 tunnel