Friday, 28 June 2013

Brindley and the Bratch!

Summer Cruise 2013 – Thurs 27th June

Day 23: Moored at the top of Bratch Locks, Staffs and Worcester Canal
                7.5 miles and 16 locks in 5 engine hours

We knew the day would start warmly and end in rain – and so it did!

We dropped down the last 4 locks of the Stourbridge Canal numbered 17 to 20 on my canal maps – though numbered 1 to 4 on the lock gates (presumably the Stourton Four).

The gardens backing the canal here are delightful.

Landscaped to make the most of the canal

Watched over by Old Mother Nature

The bottom lock had a recording device in the corner of the lock wall. I understand that this records the number of fills of the lock (and depth?) and then the information is remotely transmitted by the solar powered gadget in the black cabinet on the bank.
This gives the monitoring team data about usage and water levels – it's called SCADA.

SCADA devive at the Stourton Bottom Lock

We then turned east onto the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal that runs from Stourport-on-Severn to Great Haywood (in Staffs), where it connects with the Trent and Mersey Canal.

It was an early canal construction, opened throughout in 1772, so generally follows the countour of the land as it rises up to the edge of Wolverhampton.
It is mosty rural and is quite isolated with old bridges and lock design.

Circular overflow weir – typical of the Staffs and Worcs

By now, it was teeming with rain as Chris enters the lower of the 3 locks at Bratch

Originally, a staircase design, they were changed to be effectively 3 separate locks – although 'squashed' into to rise of the hillside

Famous photo shot of the octagonal lock house and a very wet Anton!

Looking back down the locks 30 feet rise in 3 locks
We had had enough! We pulled over at the Visitor Moorings!

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