Monday 13 September 2021


 Today's Canal - Birmingham and Fazeley

After setting off from our overnight mooring we had around half an hour run to arrive at the bottom of the Curdworth Locks. 

This is a flight of 11 locks although several of the pounds are quite lengthy - well over a mile.

Just above the top gate is Kingsbury Swivel Bridge. We have seen this gradually fall into disuse and then disrepair so it was no surprise that, when an oncoming boater asked Mike how we found the swing bridge,l he had to explain the somewhat wry smile that he gave.

All of the locks have a number board, each planted in its own individually designed flowerbed.

At Bodymoor Heath Wharf we pulled in to fill up with water, occupying a space that nb Briar Rose had just vacated. See the blog list on the right for the story of their journey but we were expecting to see them at about this point but, alas, only able to exchange pleasantries for a few brief moments.

At Lock 8 the offside of the lock area has this sign "The Area is Currently Being Prepared as a Wildflower Meadow". As can be seen, apart from a trim part beside the lock chamber the section further away has been left to grow wild. We were not sure what preparation was being done!

At the next lock there was the same sign but with the ground being scalped back, almost to bare earth (?) In fact, all of the remaining locks in the flight had this notice, one left wild but the others in various degrees of scalping. Perhaps it is an experiment to see which yields the best results. Or did someone forget to tell the grass cutters?

We saw through the trees an area that has been fenced off from the rest of the field and all the vegetation cut right down. On the other side a continuation of the work but this time more extensive site preparation is underway. We understand that this will be another of the places where HS2 will cross a canal. It cannot be anything like as disruptive as the motorway that it also crosses just here. (Details see)

There was a little bit of a gap as we went under the M6 Toll Motorway before reaching the last lock in the flight. Above the lock was a pleasant, if noisy, mooring where we had an extended lunch break. Although we kept going (apart from the water stop) and completed the flight in three hours less half an hour for the water. hardly a record, even for us but we did feel that the paddles were a little stiffer that on previous visits (or are we getting stiffer?)

After lunch we looked at the map ahead: if we continued as planned and gone through the three Minworth Locks we would have had little alternative but to seek a mooring at Star City. Otherwise there is nowhere to stop before the top of the thirteen Perry Bar locks - not really within our capability today! Discretion ( and the temptation of a lazy afternoon) meant that we only went a shkirt ditance away from the motorway and into open fields for a night stop.

However this did give Mike the chance to clear yet more plastic from the prop (not a large amount this time) and also to remove the water from one of the bilge bays beside the engine. We will find out one day wht it collects on one side but the opposite bay is bone dry. Life's mysteries!

5.1 Miles - 11 Locks


  1. Hi Mike and Christine, The mowers proobably just ran out of time to do the last patch of long grass. You cut it at the end of the summer after the flowers have set seed, then take the cuttings away (or else they rot down and provide fertiliser, which is good for coarse grass but not for most wild flowers). They could well be planning to sow a mix of seed to add to that dropped naturally on the scalped bits, where it will have less competition from the grass and then should look after itself, getting cut late summer as before. Fingers crossed we'll have a boat by then and can go and have a look!
    best wishes

  2. Thanks for that detail. How's the boat situation?