Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wolverhampton 21 in the Wet



Just as forecast it was wet this morning, so there was no point trying to get painting jobs done, we might as well don the waterproofs and set to on the flight of 21 locks and the start of our run into Birmingham……….




Entering lock no.21 at the bottom of the flight just on 10.30am.

Here it was just a light rain, worse was to come…….




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It’s urban cruising, though there are trees and hedges along one side most of the way, so not too unattractive. Ahead of us is the huge waste disposal/recycling centre with huge lorries and dust carts arriving regularly, and behind a criss-cross of bridges carrying railway lines over the canal.

Again because of the rain, not many photos taken, here’s one from back in January………

wolverhampton 21 (8)





another railway bridge.








We shared the locks today, my usual fair system 7-7-7, with me doing the first and last set!  Just as I started the last seven, the rain was so heavy, the waterproofs were really struggling to do an effective job, and winding the paddles meant I had water running up to my elbows!

We met one boat coming down, so for a while the locks were for us, but soon they had refilled by the time we got to them.




It was a great relief to get to the top lock two-and-a-half hours later just on 1 o’clock.  Not bad going since most of the locks were against us.

No volunteer lock-keepers today of course!





We didn’t want to stop here, and decided to persevere, and by the time I had gone down inside, made a cup of tea and cheese on toast to warm us up, the rain had stopped, and being optimistic we could believe it looked brighter.





And so it did!

Just look at that blue sky.

Once we had got to Tipton, the sun was out and everything was steaming in the warmth.





So I got off Tacet and took a walk along pointing my camera at all the lovely autumn colours……….

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We started off along the Wolverhampton level over the Tividale aqueduct…..

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then turned onto the Gower Branch and down Brades locks, and then onto the Birmingham level,

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under the magnificent Galton Bridge built by Telford, past the Smethwick New Pumping Station and under the Engine Branch Aqueduct, with the cast iron trough shining in the sunshine.





We’ve moored up alongside the NIA, arriving just after 6 o’clock, almost dried out in the sun, but it was still good to cosy up with the fire alight for this evening.

15.5 miles, 24 locks


  1. Wot no 1hr 23 min ascent this time?

  2. To avoid disspiriting the other boaters, we now report all lock times as taking twice their actual duration.

  3. It was uphill all the way! Karen