Saturday, 27 May 2017


Friday 26th and Saturday 27th May; Birmingham

Our first day in Birmingham was very hot indeed and we were lucky to be on the shady side of the moorings.  Dave took Meg for an early walk to avoid the heat, and I went for an early run, but by the time I finished at 8.30 it was already very hot.  At 9.30 we walked to Moor St station to meet daughter Jen and grandson Finn who were visiting for the day.  Finn was fast asleep at the time and didn’t wake till we got back to the boat.  After a look at the passing boats

1 finn watches his first boathe decided he was hungry and cruising was not for him. After his needs had been met we set off for a short cruise to charge the batteries and he went to sleep.  We went round the Icknield Port loop – the grass bank in the second picture is the edge of Rotton Park reservoir -

4 icknield port5 icknield port

then after crossing the main line, round the Soho loop.  The towpath here is being upgraded (aka being converted to a cycle path).  The machinery they are using seems tailor-made to fit cycle tracks towpaths.

7 towpath sized machine soho loop

The mooring we have is shady, at least in part, for almost the whole day.  On a day like today that is important!

12 partial shade most of day

After a lovely relaxed lunch and a happy afternoon playing with Finn we walked them back to Moor Street and had a quiet evening in.  The library was illuminated by the evening sun.

13 evening sun on library

The next day dawned wet and a lot chillier.  In a dry spell I walked down to the service area at Cambrian wharf to dispose of rubbish, and passed this ‘Garden Centre’ boat.

 1 plant-selling boat

Dave spent the morning ironing new veneer onto one of the wardrobes where it had become water-stained when the hatch hadn’t been closed properly at some point.  This is the bottom bit by the floor.  Now it just needs some wood stain and varnishing.

5 new veneer on wardrobe

Meanwhile I made an egg and bacon pie for tea tonight, some scones and flapjack.  After lunch the weather had cleared up and we went to visit the cathedral of St Philip;  it has some stunning stained glass windows but last year when we visited the inside was being cleaned or restored and you couldn’t see much for scaffolding and protective screening.  The four panels of stained glass were designed by Edward Burne-Jones, the pre-Raphaelite artist, and even on a dull day the colours were glowing vividly.  This is the Day of Judgement; the reds were much more intense than the picture shows.

5 burne-jones last judgement

Today was Birmingham Pride day but unfortunately by the time we realised it the parade had been and gone.  Apart from a few people on their way home wearing rainbow garlands, or wrapped in rainbow flags, there was little to see where we walked.  The cathedral had this flag above the entrance; not the ‘standard’ rainbow flag but a rainbow nonetheless.

2 rainbow flag in cathedral

Outside the cathedral is a statue of the first bishop of Birmingham.

3 first bishop of birminghamThere are thought to have been over 60,000 burials in the churchyard but few memorials remain.  Some stones mark entrances to family vaults and there is an obelisk erected to the memory of Colonel Burnaby who was sent to relieve General Gordon of Khartoum in 1884.  The cemetery was closed to burials in 1858 for public health reasons as it had become “offensive to the surrounding neighbourhood, especially in the summer months.”  The most recent, and most poignant, memorial was that erected in 1995 for the victims of the Birmingham pub bombings in 1974.

4 obelisk

We walked back to the boat via Victoria Square past more Victorian edifices – the one with the columns was the Midland Bank.

6 victorian grandeur midland bank

Armed police are still patrolling.  These two had just posed for a photo with two children.

7 had just finished posing with 2 kiddies

Tomorrow we will be on our way again, south down the Worcester and Birmingham towards Tardebigge.

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