Sunday 1st July 2012
Last night's mooring turn out not to be as good as it first looked. Late afternoon a security guard came around and asked us if we were aware that the building we had moored outside of was a night club and tonight was going to be a very noisy party, with music until about 4.00am.
By eight o'clock there was still no sign of anyone around the building, and the signs on the front gave no hint that it was a club. At about 8.30 I took another look around and came across a West Indian chap starting up one of those 45 gallon drum barbecues, so I asked him about the party. He told me that, yes there was one, it wouldn't start until about 10.00pm and it would go on until about 4.00am. So we decided to move as far away as we could on the dock. Good move!! Although it was raining and we got very wet moving the boat, when the music??? started, boy was it loud. Maybe I'm getting old, but the noise was horrendous, it sounded like rap, I think.
This morning we set off to complete the climb to Brindley Place and The NIA. 21 locks, the 8 remaining of The Aston Flight and then the 13 of Farmer's Bridge flight.
After just 2 locks a woman on a bike stopped and asked us if we knew that just ahead of us there was a dry section on the flight. Panic! was there something wrong? Would we have to turn around and go back? I took a walk up for a look and found it was just one pound that had drained, so I went to the top of the flight opening paddles as I went to start letting water down.
It didn't take long for the dry section to fill so I went back to the top, shut off the flow and we were on our way again.
A few minutes later a chap appeared walking down the flight carrying a windlass, so I asked him if he was on a boat coming down? No, he just enjoyed helping boats through the locks, it was how he got his exercise.
And what a help he was. At the top of Aston he offered to continue through the Farmer's Bridge with us. This was very welcome, and he duly came all the way up with us, I don't know how much time we saved, but it was certainly significant. Thanks a lot Jim Shead, may you continue your good work.
We're now moored up opposite the end of the Oozells Street Branch, Ladywood Junction.