Into Birmingham

We continued along the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal into Birmingham.


The winter sunshine wasn’t producing much warmth and we were glad of the locks to work to keep us warm.


We weren’t the only ones hoping for warmth in the sunshine.  This dead tree makes a handy perching place where you can be on your own, or in groups.


It still surprises me how green the grass is when almost everything else has turned brown near the end of autumn.

Looking back as we approached Salford Junction I spotted a new sign, requiring boaters to come up from the left and merge with the motorway traffic.


We’re moored outside Star City, on the 24 hour moorings at the start of the Grand Union Canal.  Tomorrow I will reverse back to Salford Junction, using the bow thruster to steer, then we’ll head up the Aston and Farmers Bridge flights to our home mooring in the centre of Birmingham.

Homewards along the Coventry Canal

We’re heading home with our repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat.

> Atherstone Locks
Atherstone Locks

The sunshine looks nice but it was bitterly cold. There was a sprinkling of snow on the boat this morning and it took until nearly lunchtime for that to melt.  There are lots of marks appearing on the boat but they are all reflections – well nearly all – we did touch the side in a few locks.

We passed through Atherstone and Glascote Locks on the Coventry Canal and turned left at Fazeley Junction onto the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal where we are moored near Fisher’s Mill Bridge.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we will be heading into Birmingham, although we don’t expect to make it all the way home, and will probably moor outside Star City for the night.

Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat

We left Rose Narrowboats this morning with our newly repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat.

Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat leaving Rose Narrowboats
> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat leaving Rose Narrowboats

A few days ago it was behind those green doors in the paint shed.  Paul (the painter) has finished his hard work and the boat looks new again.  I wonder how long we can keep it looking like that.

> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat moored at Rose Narrowoboats
> Repainted Waterway Routes Narrowboat moored at Rose Narrowboats

The name is on the bows, as before, so people will recognise us coming.

We’re on our way back to our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf, in Birmingham.  We moored at the top of Atherstone Locks late this afternoon.  Tomorrow should see us through Atherstone and Glascote Locks and, perhaps, a little onto the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.  Please give us a wave if you see us.

Chesterfield Canal DVDs

I am pleased to say our Chesterfield Canal DVDs have just been released and they will make great Christmas presents.

Chesterfield Canal Combined DVD Cover.

The Chesterfield Canal DVDs are available in our usual three formats:-

  • Popular – like a television programme showing the highlights of the canal
  • Bowcam – a forward facing camera, speeded up for a little fun, showing the whole canal
  • Combined – both Popular and Bowcam in one box for the best of both worlds, saving money and postage.
Chesterfield Canal DVDs
(Popular, Bowcam and Combined)

The DVDs follow the navigable canal from the River Trent at West Stockwith to the limit of navigation at Kiveton Park.  We follow the section proposed for restoration from Kiveton park to Staveley on foot.  Then, with kind permission from the Chesterfield Canal Trust, we follow one of their trip boats from Staveley into Chesterfield.

Map showing the route covered by the Chesterfield Canal DVDs.

The Popular and Combined DVDs each include an information booklet and a fold-out map.

Contents of the Chesterfield Canal Combined DVD.

Enjoy this lovely canal from the comfort of your armchair.  These Chesterfield Canal DVDs, or any others from our great range of waterway DVDs, will make a great Christmas present.  Why not treat your family and friends, or start dropping hints about what you would like for Christmas.

We also have the Chesterfield Canal Maps which are available to download in both Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats..

Chesterfield Canal Map
Extract from the Chesterfield Canal Map

The Chesterfield Canal Maps are also available on CD in a presentation box which makes them another great Christmas present idea.

Chesterfield Canal Map Cover.

A big thank you to the members of the Chesterfield Canal Trust who helped on their trip boat and with proof watching the DVDs.

Map Updates – November 2015 – Issue 44

I’ve just published the monthly update to my maps for November 2015 and the England & Wales map is now as Issue 44.

Many of the changes are small, but important to those involved.  One example is completion of the next section of the Ashby Canal through Bridge 62 to a new winding hole.

> Extract from Ashby Canal Map
Extract from Ashby Canal Map

This is a short winding hole, being 15.2m (50′) long and, like all winding holes less than full length for the canal, is carefully marked as such on the maps.

Those maps with significant changes this month are listed here.

England & Wales Waterway Map

Ashby Canal Map (the restoration section is free to download)
Cotswold Canals Map (free to download)
Wilts & Berks Canal Map (free to download)

There are a few others, like the Grand Union Canal Map, which have minor updates too.

Thank you to all those who have let me know about updates they have found.  I can’t check every mile of every canal personally each month, and feedback is important to help me keep the maps up to date.

More Gloss Coats

Further progress with repainting our boat, visible during two recent visits.

Last week I saw the first gloss coat rubbed down and the second gloss coat being applied.  The name panel looks shiny with the second gloss coat on the right hand side.


The left hand name panel is painted the same red colour, although filming inside under difficult lighting make it look a different colour.  The inner blue panel has its second gloss coat too.


This week I saw the third, and final top coat nearing completion.  Paul (the painter) is carefully reaching over the side to paint the blue on the roof.


Paul can paint the circles around the mushroom vents without masking tape – and they do look circular.


This is half way through week five out of an estimated six weeks.