Wednesday 10 July 2013

Back through the Bratch

The new CEO of the Canal and River Trust, Richard Parry, decided to do a weekend's boating as one of his first undertakings. Brownie points! Boaters in general were very pleased. Problem: just before the appointed time, one of the locks in the flight known as the Wolverhampton 21 failed (think wall collapsing), and as a result the flight was closed until further notice. Guess where Richard Parry's cruise had been planned for!

Master Parry continued with his plan, but at a different location. A good many boaters are delighted that he has had early confirmation of the perilous state of the infrastructure of the waterways, which many have been warning of, but which the old guard of those in authority have a reputation for being in denial about.

We ourselves were due to come back from our Birmingham trip via the Wolverhampton flight, but had to change our own plans. So it was through the Netherton tunnel, down the Delph flight, down the Stourbridge flight, to Stourton junction on the Staffs and Worcs. And today we've started northwards, re-tracing the route we took in June, which has brought us again to the Bratch.

Coming up it is a slightly different experience to going down it – your perspective is different.

Up behind those gates is a wall of water, three storeys high, waiting to fall on you. But once you're up, there's a nice mooring, which we're sharing with some people who've been coming up the locks with us today.

There's a strong enough Three signal to make this post. Even more importantly, there's a good enough TV signal to watch the highlights of this most extraordinary first day of the Ashes.


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