Map Updates – April 2016 – Issue 49

I’m pleased to announce the April 2016 updates to my cruising maps are now available.

Extract from Cotswold Canals Map
Extract from Cotswold Canals Map

You can see a full list of the latest issue of the maps, but those with significant changes this month are:-

Remember, you can update your map to the latest version – free during the first year and a small charge after that.  You can also upgrade to a larger map.  Just email paul@waterwayroutes.co.uk with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote.

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust

We’ve just returned from our first cruise of the season over the past two days, from our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf to Wolverhampton and back.  It’s always nice to be cruising again, and we identified a few items that need fixing after the winter before we start cruising again.

New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal
New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal

On the way we stopped to see the Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust’s new visitor centre which was opened on 14th March 2016 by HRH The Princess Royal.

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre
Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre

There’s a new swing bridge across the canal which provides a level link to the Black Country Living Museum and the boarding point for the trip boats into Dudley Tunnel.  The tunnel portal is just visible in the background.

Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats
Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats

The trip boats are electric and have a low height so they fit into Dudley Tunnel which has such a low profile that most narrowboats will not fit inside.

Helping Seyella

It was early yesterday morning when I arrived in Wigan by train.  I was on the way to help Geoff and Mags on Seyella come down the Wigan Flight.

Waiouru in Wigan
Waiouru in Wigan

I paused to say hello to Jan on Waiouru as I walked past on the way to the top of the Wigan Flight.

Seyella at Wigan Top Lock
Seyella at Wigan Top Lock

Meg spotted my arrival at the top of the flight as she waited patiently outside Seyella.

Wigan Top Lock
Wigan Top Lock

It was a lovely day once the sun had come out and Wigan Top Lock looked very welcoming.

Mags steering Seyella
Mags steering Seyella

There were no boats within the flight so I lifted one top paddle on the locks near the top of the flight so they would be full by the time we came down.  Geoff went ahead to open the gate and see the boat in safely as Mags steered Seyella and I shut the paddles and gates behind.

Geoff winding paddles down the Wigan Flight
Geoff winding paddles down the Wigan Flight

Geoff and Mags are used to working together and there was no need to hold the boat on the centre rope as the locks are gentle when emptying.

Jan arrives from Waiouru
Jan arrives from Waiouru

Jan walked up from Waiouru and met us part way down the flight, providing another pair of hands.

Jan winding the gate shut
Jan winding the gate shut

Some of the locks have winding hear to help close the gates.

Jan having fun on the Wigan Flight
Jan having fun on the Wigan Flight

Jan seems to be having fun – it’s not often that happens on the heavy locks of the Wigan Flight.

Meg, Geoff and Mags at Poolstock Bottom Lock
Meg, Geoff and Mags at Poolstock Bottom Lock

Jan left us at the bottom lock of the main flight and I stayed on board to help with the two Poolstock Locks.

I left Meg, Geoff and Mags looking very happy at Poolstock Bottom Lock.  It took four and a half hours from top to bottom, including a stop for a brew half way down with four of us working well together – it would have taken Geoff and Mags much longer on their own.  The 21 locks in the main Wigan Flight, plus two at Poolstock, are hard work, with some of them being very hard work.

I paused to help Jan with a minor problem as I walked back to the station and caught the train home.