Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Curdworth Lock Flight up towards Birmingham

Tuesday 8th July, 2014 in Birmingham.
We awoke to another pretty and very still morning.
As Hobbits, breakfast, even first breakfast, is a very important start to the day!
The remaining ten locks of the Curdworth flight were ahead of us, so we set off reasonably early. A few boats passed us going the other way so, for once, all the locks were in our favour, making it so much easier. We had a little group of helpers at one lock.
The lady immediately picked up on the Hobbit connection and asked if we had had our second breakfast yet!
At another lock, we fell into conversation with a lady from nb "Tombee II", who remembered seeing us last year in Braunston when we had given her and her husband a tour of MM! It was nice to see them again.

It was a very peaceful flight of locks and M walked the towpath the whole way. She was surprised to see that Kingsgound's initials appear on the lock gates here!
The peace was rudely shattered by the intrusion of the M42 running alongside the top few locks.
And the M6 Toll passes overhead next to the top lock. Ghastly!
We moored up by the small town of Curdworth, apparently one of the oldest settlements in the area, named after Crida, the first king of Mercia.
M thought that "Curdworth" was a most appropriate name having just discovered that the milk that we had left in the fridge while we were away had all "curd"led!  So, we walked to the local PO/Stores to buy fresh milk and, on the way, were tickled pink to see that Del Boy and Rodney obviously had a branch office of the T.I.T. Co here!
Rain arrived at lunchtime, so we stayed put all afternoon with R reading his book while M busied herself polishing and cleaning (each doing what they enjoy most!). The rain eased about 4:30 and we decided to go on through the next three locks, the short Minworth flight. There was no mistaking that we were approaching the conurbation of Birmingham with the increasing amount of detritus in the water, the graffiti and the constant roar of traffic. Even more significant was that these three locks each had anti-vandal keys to prevent people letting the water out and draining the canal.
Mooring round here was a bit of a concern but we managed to find a quiet spot that seemed safe. M was quite relieved when another narrowboat pulled in behind us, believing that there is safety in numbers. By now it was raining quite hard again and R went to help the gentleman tie up. The boat was also Tolkien themed; her name was "Arathorn" (Aragorn's father) and the owners, Mike and Sue (and dog) were delightful.
Today: 6 miles, 13 locks and 4.6 hours.
Trip: 42 miles, 22 locks and 25.7 hours.

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