Locking Up

The forecast for today was decidedly cooler than recently, so we decided to set off early up “The Sixteen” locks from Stourbridge.  The Red House Glass Cone is not currently taking any visitors so we merely gawped at it as we passed.

Bartimaeus with Red House Cone Behind
Bartimaeus in “The Sixteen” with Red House Glass Cone

A few locks in to the flight, we were joined by John, a volunteer lock keeper.  He helped us through the rest of the flight.  A third person on a flight is a major benefit.  Closing both gates behind the boat involves a lot of extra walking around the lock with only one person ashore.  Great to meet you John!

Volunteer Lock Keep John
Volunteer Lock Keeper John Halved Our Effort on “The Sixteen”

At the top of the flight, we took the path less travelled.  This is our first Silver Propellor Challenge location.  This short arm of the canal eventually became too silted up to navigate.  We can “claim” the location with this photo of us winding at the junction midway along the arm.

Clare and Bartimaeus at Brockmoor Junction
Clare and Bartimaeus at Brockmoor Junction

We returned to the main drag, and had some lunch.  With the cooler weather, we were enthused to press on up the Delph flight of 8 locks, and then on to another Silver Propellor location – this time the Southern Portal of Dudley Tunnel.  The silting in the top pound was so great that we couldn’t get within line of sight of the tunnel.  We managed to get to the bank a little further back to see the portal.  We don’t fit through that profile!

Southern Portal of Dudley Tunnel
Clare at Southern Portal of Dudley Tunnel