Sunday, 21 September 2014

Fazeley to Fradley on the Coventry Canal Sept 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014

Day 88 To Bridge No.81 on the Coventry Canal - 6 miles
Day 89 To Fradley Jnc, then up the Trent & Mersey - 7 miles, 3 locks and 1 swing bridge

The history of this section is interesting as the Coventry Canal had not reached Fazeley by the time the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal Company had set off towards Fradley and the connection with the then Grand Trunk Canal (Trent & Mersey Canal).
In turn, eager to make the connection to the coalfields of the East Midlands, the Grand Trunk Canal Company had constructed the canal towards Fazeley.
Eventually, as finances improved, the Coventry Canal Company bought back this section - so there is an isolated section of the B'ham and Fazeley sandwiched between the sections of the northern Coventry Canal - finally finished in 1789.
Nowadays, it is just called the Coventry Canal!

The gentle warm breeze of this late summer kept us company as our leisurely cruise north continued. We found a great, open and sunny mooring just before Br.No.81 - with other boats - and stopped early (with good TV/signals too).
The next day we headed for Fradley Junction, intending to moor above Shade House Lock - however, the shuttering had run out and we beached on the edge - so carried on north along the Trent and Mersey to find a good spot (with others) just before Br.No.55.

Car seats - discarded into the canal

This boat has been here for more than 14 days!

The Canal Trust says that 4% of boaters don't have current licences - that's an estimated 1280 boats at a minimum of £500 each. £640K would build quite a few new lock gates though? Besides, by allowing non-payers, it signals it's OK to avoid the rules?!
This sign is at the Huddlesford Junction - Ogley Jnc is on the BCN near Anglesey Basin (we were up there last year - see link). Although it is only 7 miles, there are major roads to cross and the M6 Toll - besides the matter of where the HS2 is going to carve through?!

Looking back up the moorings for the Lichfield Canal Society - I was told they have the land to build a marina at some point - HS2 depending?

We called in at the working Streethay Wharf for a pump out

A low road bridge

A classic view of the Swan at Fradley Junction - we go left ...

Chris steering into Shade House Lock

A really old mooring bollard - still works though?

Shade House Lock - a classic Brindley design

Next lock up is Wood End Lock with these heavy cantilevered gate beams. The proposed HS2 route comes right through here - although I have recently read that the IWA Reps and MPs from the HS2 Select Committee have done a site visit to discuss the Alternative Route

The picturesque Wood End Cottage - similarly threatened by the HS2 folly?!

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