Tuesday 11 June 2019

What a lovely surprise.

Now we had to get a wiggle on today, I fell foul of the timings as there was the last of three swing bridges had to be opened.  At 05:45 we set off, I had to get dressed rather earlier than preferred.
The canal from Lapworth was pretty going through open fields and as we got closer to Kingswood the prettiness gave way to more scrappy bushy and a slight build up of plastic in the canal, plus wood, some zonking great logs of wood floating about.  Some look like dead bodies.

So after morning tea on the hoof,  after about forty minutes we arrived at this last of three swing bridges.  

The other two were windlass winding ones but this one was electric.  

First problem was where the heck is the control box?

Ok ok I found it after looking down both sides of the road, but I could hear the passing drivers laughing at me as they SPED by on their way to work.  I waited for the road to clear, then I pressed the button and as the lights started to flash a white small van shot through moments before the barriers came down.  Phew and then as the bridge was actually open a car, driven by a single male, turned onto this side road, saw the bridge open and did a James Bond handbrake turn and shot off to another route.  
Quite something.

After we'd passed through and the bridge was in place again the traffic went bananas again.

Looking back at the swing bridge (FYI the control box is by the barrier on the left, right where you'd expect it to be!)

Very pretty cottage that looks like it had a restoration too.

Quite a grand tunnel facade.

The last landmark on this Stratford canal is this old Guillotine Lock Gate.  Sadly a bit of graffiti spoiling the look of it now.

One gate at each end a lock in effect to mark the end of the Stratford canal.

So we had made good time and at the junction we were met by the sad sight of the canal house that has recently been a victim of fire damage.  I think I read that CART are intending to refurbish the property.  If CART decides to sell,  I'll submit a bid.

I'd love this.

We turned north and David put his foot on the gas as heavy rain was coming.  It's a dull deadly dull stretch up to the city centre.  Just as the rain started properly we had moored up, on the very first spot available.  The heavens opened.

Later during a lull in the rain we put on our wet weather coats and headed for the Bull Ring, so for my Reader form Brazil, its a shopping centre where we finally arrived soaked from the coat downwards but after receiving a text from EE offering a deal for a sim only 100G deal.  We wanted to secure this deal before the deadline passed.

While we were in the EE Shop, I received a text with this photo.  It's WaL if you can't quite see.  So it turned out my Godson Max, son of Boat Sharers was literally passing by and noticed the boat.  He joined us later in my favourite Gin Bar just along the canal.  A lovely surprise to have him drop by.

WaL snapped by my godson Max.

Walking back through the atrium of the Festival Hall to WaL we saw that a concert was on tonight,  we quickly brought tickets and so very much enjoyed Songs from the Sixties, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.  

It was a wonderful evening and although I was in my cot for the part of the 60's (unlike David who is so much older than me)  I benefitted from having older siblings  who endlessly play music so it turned out I knew virtually all the words to all the songs.
I brought the CD for my mum.

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