Thursday, 10 November 2011

Black Country Living Museum

Black County Living Museum
5th November 2011

Posts in this series:

1. To Tipton - this post
2. Return from the Black Country Museum

Few seasons end without a late visit to the Black Country Living Museum in Tipton, and 2011 was no exception. This year we arranged to meet our friends Nick and Victoria with their friends Steve and Sandra and this gathering was deemed a suitable occasion to test Belle's many and varied alcoholic tipples. 

Heron at Autherley Junction

Last week was chaotic with three days in London, arriving back at 7.00pm on Friday with just a couple of hours to turn round and get to the boat, ready for an early start on Saturday. 

Culvert collapse at Coven

The clocks changing throw a spanner in the boating works, the early nights resulting in early starts, so we were off just before 8.00 am heading west along the Staffs and Worcester. Coven threw up the first challenge with a BW boat spread across the canal. A culvert has collapsed and a temporary repair is holding the water back from the adjacent golf course pending a rebuild in December.

Paul of Waterways Routes out updating a map.

The Wolverhampton 21 were set against us which slowed progress. We eventually caught up with nb Tom Bombadil a couple of locks from the top, a single hander who was making for the Wolverhampton Basin for the night.

Tom Bombadil in Wolverhampton

The area round Wolverhampton has suffered from a major pollution incident in recent weeks and it was sad to see the once clear waters reduced to milky opacity and no evidence of the fish which usually flit in and out of the weeds beneath the boat. I guess it will take months to clear.

Twilight at Tipton

The cut was deserted through to Tipton, which we reached just as the sun was setting. The Museum stayed open for the evening with a huge bonfire flaring up beside the cabal basin and a vast crowd coming down to soak in the atmosphere. No fireworks mind you but that didn't matter much as the rest of Tipton was hell bent of throwing lights up into the smoky night sky.

BCLM bonfire

For our part we sampled and scored Belle's many foraged tipples, the detailed recording system reducing to a simple like / don't like analysis as the concoctions flowed. Then it was over to he other boat for a meal as a game of six handed rummy. Who won dosn't really matter but its always nice when it is me!

Party time!

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