Friday, 20 September 2013

Back on the Grand Union – Friday 20th September 2013

An early start again this morning, after saying our goodbyes to Nb. Carapace 2, and with no other boats on the move but all the locks against us we still made fast progress up to Kingswood Junction passing the Hotel Boats moored between lock 25 and 24 with their guests still having their breakfast. The turn from the Stratford canal into the arm linking with the GU. is wide but needs to be as it actually comes back on itself as it was once a lock chamber and is thus quite a tight fit.
1 Kingswood Jnc Turn
A short journey up the arm takes you onto the GU and here Autumn Years is exiting the arm. June had left me at the last lock and walked over to the Village Shop for the paper and re-joined the boat at bridge 65 on the GU.
2 Leaving the arm
We motored on along the wide and straight GU, what a contrast from the Stratford. We passed Bon Accord Farm hidden in the trees by bridge 67. This is where Jean and Graham used to live and is where the name of our galley’s granite work surface originated.
Just before bridge 69 can be seen the earth works of where a marina was begun to be excavated and then abandoned presumably because they could not get planning permission. The other side of the bridge is the Black Boy pub and opposite the Black Boy Cruising Club which has boats moored on both sides of the canal and a slipway where they can haul out small boats for maintenance.
3Black Boy Crusing Club
We carried on and winded at the bottom of Knowle Locks, no amount of cajoling could persuade the girls to go up and back down the flight of 5 locks. We moored up a short distance from the locks. As we walked up the locks these two Gardener Powered boats were locking up the flight which is over looked by the recently extended Batts Hall.
4 Knowle Locks
At the top of the locks is the Stephen Goldsborough Boats boatyard although it is now owned by somebody else. Moored at the yard was Nb. Snark with this unusual forward cratch, housing a table and logs.
5 Stephen Goldsborough
We walked on into the village past some lovely large houses, half timbered cottages and Church. Although Knowle has expanded with new housing it has still managed to retain its village feel with a nice high street and several good shops including Butcher, Eric Lyons where we buy our pies and meats. Tesco also have a store in the precinct. Buses run every half hour the 3 miles into Solihull where all the large stores can be found like John Lewis, M & S, and House of Frazier.
6 Knowle
To the north east of Knowle Locks is the flight path into Birmingham Airport and so whilst there is no noise the planes can be clearly seen coming into land.7 Fligth path
These pictures are not of the sun sinking but the moon rising this evening. To the naked eye it was so red that it could be mistaken for the sun rising in the east.
8 Moon Red

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