Today began with another walk into Alvechurch where we had breakfast in the community cafe by the co-op (recommended – it’s cheap friendly and not for profit).
Through the two tunnels, we stopped for diesel at Anglo Welsh which was quite reasonable. Then we set off down the Tardebigge flight. Willow knows this flight far better to than we do! After the top lock which has a moderate pound below it there are 29 locks in unrelenting succession.
Unfortunately in the second lock down, James was strapping the boat in and got the stern line caught under the fender loop. It pinged off leaving our big traditional stern fenders hanging on by only one loop. We’ve bodged up some tyres to take their place temporarily but it doesn’t look nearly as good. Ah well. It will be a 5 min job for a boatyard to weld it back on.
The flight although long is very pretty with lots of nice canalside cottages and some lovely views. The locks themselves are a delight to work and with distinctive paddle gear. It was good to bring Willow to its old route as well.
At the bottom we just had time to nip to the industrial estate in Bromsgrove to pick up some 8mm tube for the new header tank. But we’re still short an 8mm -15mm fitting. We’ve also decided that with the engine cooling not being entirely reliable, we are going to do the Severn to Gloucester another time. We’ll do the little bit between Worcester and Stourport but avoid the rest. That also means a more relaxing trip to Alvecote the weekend after next. It’s the nature of boating that plans change so its not a big deal. We’re looking forwards to doing the Staffs and Worcester canal and spending a bit more time in Birmingham.