Birmingham Canals

I woke up to a chilly morning on the campsite. The weather app had predicted 4C for a low. It was actually -1C. But I survived it! And Alfie the van started without any trouble. I drove to the mechanic for the service and MOT and he replaced the problem battery and took care of a couple of other minor issues.

While he was working on the van I took a taxi into the city centre and had several hours there. It was a gloriously sunny and warm day and I spent the entire time wandering around the canal system, watching boats, enjoying the history, as well as appreciating the new developments along the canals. There’s a lot of building work still being done around the city centre.

The main picture is of a narrow boat going through one of the many locks in the city. It was a group of four people, two who owned the boat and 2 others. Three of them worked the locks while one steered the boat. They were on a long weekend trip and were going through over 20 locks today before a more relaxed route the rest of the weekend.

See the Extra photos for a few more views along the canals. You will see ‘Old Turn Junction’ - a roundabout in a canal! Gas Street Basin with the Worcester Bar - a walkway bridge between two rows of boats. This bar separated two canal systems which met in Birmingham. A short history from Wikipedia...

The Birmingham Canal, completed in 1773, terminated at Old Wharf beyond Bridge Street. When the Worcester and Birmingham Company started their canal at a point later known as Gas Street Basin the Birmingham Canal Navigations Company (BCN) insisted on a physical barrier to prevent the Worcester and Birmingham Canal from benefiting from their water. The Worcester Bar, a 7-foot-3-inch-wide (2.21 m) straight barrier 84 yards (77 m) long was built perpendicular to the run of the two canals. Cargoes had to be laboriously manhandled between boats on either side.“

After several hours of walking I was ready for a break and I had a late lunch at the canalside ‘Mailbox’ - an office and shopping development in what used to be a Post Office sorting office. And then it was time to go pick up the van from the mechanic. From there it was back to the campsite for another night. I made it back in time for tea and the sunset. It was warm enough to sit outside way after the sun went down. A perfectly warm and early summer’s day for my visit to Birmingham. I do enjoy a camping and city break combo! It’s not how I expected to enjoy my Campervan but I like it!

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