Tuesday, 13 July 2010

A wander down the Worcester Birmingham

Towpath walk from Tardebigge to Alvechurch
July 2010

This Duke of Edinburgh malarkey has been keeping me away from the canals (and my family).

Cottages at Tardebigge Wharf

But its not all doom and gloom. On a recent navigation exercise from Bromsgrove I looked at the map and spied an inviting ribbon of blue along the eastern edge, and figured it would make a very satisfactory leg of the journey. My comrades in arms required little encouragement so off we went.

Shortwood Tunnel steps and old horse track

First stop was Tardebigge wharf where they were treated to a potted history of the IWA and then it was north towards Alvechurch. I knew that there were two tunnels to pass through so I decided to pack my torch stupidly forgetting that these are towpathless tunnels and short of walking on water our passage would have to be over the hill on the old horse tracks.

Anglo Welsh base at Tardebigge

This diversion "up and over" was interesting as one rarely gets to appreciate the size of hills the canals burrow through. That long walk made me realise the effort that went into digging the things out over 200 years ago.

It was also interesting to find great heaps of spoil here and there, remnants of the shafts dug to provide additional faces to work from.

One crane at ABC, and its reflection

This walk ended up at Alvechurch Marina. Sadly we were too early to tea but the ice creams and cold drinks went down a treat.

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