A group of five of us took to the waters of the BCN in Water Admiral, a 60ft narrowboat hired from Water Travel of Autherley Junction in September 2001. The area we covered many regard as the backwaters of the english canal system but what we found was mostly a picturesque, well maintained network with hardly any moving boats on it. In fact we didn't see another moving boat for two whole days and only saw two other boats on the move for the whole of the time we were north of the "Main Line".
Our cruise entered the BCN (The Birmingham Canal Navigations) at Aldersley Junction on the Staffs & Worcester Canal
with the bottom lock of the 21 lock flight up to Wolverhapton right at the junction. We covered most parts of the BCN, including the northern stretches of the Wyrley & Essington and Rushall Canals, before returning south of the "main line" onto the Dudley No2 Canal then finally down to Stourbridge. Our return to Autherley was then via the Staffs & Worcester Canal from Stourton Junction up through Bratch.
Over the week of our cruise we worked 139 locks and on only one of these, Ebstree Lock on the Staffs & Worcs, did we find broken paddle gear - one of the ground paddles at the top of the lock.
Now follow the crew of the Water Admiral on their journey into the nether regions of the BCN!
Please revisit soon.