Friday, 20 June 2014

Locking up the Wolverhampton Flight June 2014

Our Summer Cruise 2014 - Day 7 Part One

I had intended to have a very early start - as it was, we were off by 8.30am though had ready been passed by several boats.
In keeping with our tradition, Chris did the first lock as I brought the boat into the Wolverhampton '21' - rise of 132 feet over the 2 miles or so up to Wolverhampton.

Approaching the Bottom Lock in the morning sun 

Looking back down one of the lower pounds - this first stretch of the lock flight is pleasantly rural and well maintained

Further up, we encountered housing estates (new and old) - this new lock tail bridge allows residents from the nearby estate onto the towpath - note the elegant handrail ends!
The towpath is signed to be a through route for residents and had many walkers and cyclists using it.

Well done to the CRT staff who look after this lock flight. The gates were dry (as above) with only a few leaking; the locking gear was well greased and easy to use and the gates swung quite easily. The locks are less than 7 feet deep, so of course this helps.

Modern buildings - this is the Science Park for the University of Wolverhampton

The upper part of the flight becomes increasingly industrial - here looking up at railway bridges and the council incinerator complex
There was very little water coming down - compare with the Shropshire Union!

And the grass was being cut!

Even the off-side was tidy - again compared with the 'natural' state of the locks on the Shroppie!

Arriving with refreshments from a local mobile cafe

A sign of the times?

Despite much investment - there are still large areas of dereliction

Getting towards the top

The old Lock Keeper's Houses at Top Lock - dated from about 1772
We completed the flight of locks in around 3 and 1/2 hours - and only saw 4 boats coming down. So, with the first part of the day accomplished, we set off for Birmingham.
We had done this trip, this time last year - see this link for interest in that blog for comparison?!

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