As we left this morning the sun began to burn off the mist and we soon had a lovely sunny day. Our first port of call was to moor just before the Curdworth Tunnel so that we could take the short walk to the village store and post office which opens at 8.00am on a Saturday to collect the weekend papers.
As we came out of the tunnel there is some timber shoring along the towpath bank to act as a Tunnel Waiting Area, on the southern side there are proper mooring Bollards.
Just after Curdworth Top Lock the canal goes under the M6 Toll road and then under Dunton Wharf Bridge over which we have travelled many times and always look down to the canal to see if there are any boats moving. The canal is very rural here and despite the noise from the M42 is very peaceful.
Next came the Marston Farm Hotel followed by the Dog and Doublet where a grandmother and grand daughter had come to watch the boats. They loved watching us and then Autumn Years negotiate the lock and even helped with the lock gate.
This unusual designed narrow boat was moored at the Dog and Doublet.
We decided to fill with water at the Bodymoor Heath services. They have recently been upgraded and were very good with two new water stanchions so that we could both fill up at the same time. We were slightly dismayed to read on a notice that the water stanchions were to be replaced by the new stainless steel variety due to the existing ones not complying with the latest regulations. This is regulation gone made, no wonder C&RT have not got any money to do the essential maintenance work.
Having visited the Aston Villa Football Club Ground in Aston on Thursday we now passed their Training Ground in the distance and could see people training in the grounds.
At the Curdworth Bottom Lock there is the now defunct Kingsbury Swivel Bridge next to the top gates. The bottom gate was particularly heavy to open and close.
The Floods of 2007 meant that the bottom lock cottages were flooded and the flood water spilled over the earth embankment into the canal causing potential damage as far away as Fazeley. The Environment Agency are thus building a wall around the cottages to protect them from the rising water and this extends a short distance down the towpath. They have then built an earth embankment all the way to Fazely to stop the River Tame flooding the new housing developments there.
The trees seem to be loaded with berries this year hopefully that does not signify that we are to have a hard winter.
The flood prevention work has meant that the Kingsbury Water Park cannot be accessed from Curdworth Bottom Lock to Fazeley until the construction work is finished and the only way in is to walk back up between locks 10 and 11 where there is access around the Caravan Park.
I walked up the canal to the old Conveyor Bridge which is now being used for access of the plant and equipment the EA are using and the loads of earth necessary for the flood defences construction. The canal here is very pretty with nice stretches of reed and tree lined banks.