Tuesday 2 July 2013

Lyons, guillotines and a neck

It's very straightforward with the right knowhow and equipment. We'd brought Erin Mae to Lyons Boatyard at the top of the Stratford canal, and this morning Dave got out his blow-torch.

He heated the part of the swan neck that had bent at the W A Cadbury lock, while I applied upwards pressure until the tiller bar was once again at a pleasing parallel to the deck. Now I have another opportunity to practice painting.

Coming up to the end of the Stratford canal where it joins the Worcester and Birmingham there are a couple of very unusual guillotine gates to the stop-lock.

They look as though they could do some serious damage to more than a swan neck! They are held permanently up, but going underneath felt a bit like a children's game of "Oranges and Lemons"!

The final excitement of the day was to come through the 2726 yards of the Wast Hills Tunnel before we tied up near Alvechurch. (We're due in Birmingham on Saturday, but have decided to stay the intervening nights in more rural areas.)

This was our second tunnel of the day. Every long tunnel looks a bit scary as you approach, but this is wide enough for boats to pass, and you can see the other end as you start. We're glad to be through it – but we'll be doing it again in the opposite direction on Friday!


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