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  1. I can't find any old photos of the top end of Baddiley bottom or middle locks, but here is one of the top lock looking towards Wrenbury from the 1950s.. http://collections.canalrivertrust.org.uk/bw192. The background looks similar, but I can't see the stop plank cover that is in the initial photo I posted...and clearly this one here does have a gate paddle.
  2. Well this picture...http://lh4.ggpht.com/-MNDXFP_aPw0/VPHYRHwa2tI/AAAAAAAAumU/TEzunXwD4dA/s1600-h/IMG_3649%255B3%255D.jpg IS Baddiley bottom lock (http://seyellas-journey.blogspot.com/2015/02/ for more details), and the background looks very similar to the second picture posted further up. Suggests the top picture may be in the same area...
  3. This lock/gate looks like it had a gate paddle on it at one point...if you look closely on top of the centre part of the balance beam you can see a neat recess in the wood. It surely must be where a paddle stand and rack used to be? None of the Llangollen locks have gate paddles and also that strapping post style is mostly found on lock gates on the B&LJ section of Shroppie main line.
  4. I was wondering about Baddiley. That setting looks similar to both the top and bottom locks though.
  5. I've come across this photo in the link... It is from the mid 1960s, I just wondered if anyone could identify which lock this is? Going by the description in the link, it seems it could be anywhere from the West Midlands area through to the Llangollen, but no details about the route of the trip are given.
  6. Is the run through Manchester any worse than the first 4 miles of the Caldon canal, which seems to have a reputation as bandit country?
  7. Birmingham to Droitwich seems too much for the reasons stated, I'd at least like to be on the other side of Wast Hill tunnel the evening before the descent. What is the current restriction time between Wolverley and Debdale locks? The plan for the day after Droitwich is to get beyond Wolverley, but when I passed through here in June it was closed after 3pm. Is this still the case?
  8. Thanks all, yes I have a cruiser so it's particularly useful for locks with the nippy acceleration, less so for powering upstream on rivers as it's a small inboard! Still considering the options; the Titford Canal sounds interesting with it being the highest point on the BCN. Another option I'm thinking of is to do Wheaton Aston/Brewood to Merry Hill or Windmill End in a day with the quick stop off at the BCLM for the chippy and then I would think I'd still have time to make a detour to Hawne Basin, or up the Park Head locks, neither of which I've done before. The next day would be from Merry Hill to Alvechurch, so obviously that would knock the 'Birmingham centre ring' idea on the head. I suppose another thing to consider is that the next day will have rather a lot of locks, down to Droitwich! From what I've read on here, the Aston flight sounds the grottiest part of this ring, so I guess with an early start I'd at least clear these locks by mid-morning.
  9. Do you mean the loops off the main line? I did the loop that passes Sherborne Wharf in June, but none of the others. Plan for the day before is Brewood to Birmingham with a stop off at the BCLM to sample the fish and chips and then a quick detour through Netherton. So I guess I may have time to do the loops later that afternoon on the way into Birmingham? Thanks, I found the locks above Kingswood a lot easier than some of the ones towards Stratford! I'd enjoy the Challenge, there's so much of the network that I'd like to do but haven't had time to (being based at the northern end of the Shroppie), only thing is the weed hatch is a bit of a faff around to get at on my boat, more than just lifting a deck cover! So that puts me off venturing up the more 'cluttered' parts a bit! Perhaps something to consider for next year though, with a bit of planning!
  10. Ah...my idea was to do the whole ring and then head to Alvechurch in the same day, perhaps I've misjudged the time it'd take to do all the locks! I've done all of the the two main lines and the two 3-lock connecting branches, Netherton tunnel branch and Dudley/Stourbridge canals from Windmill End to Stourton. Also did Birmingham to Salford Junction via Ryders Green and Perry Barr in 2016 when the Aston flight was closed.
  11. I did all the narrow locks on the Stratford in one day in June (including Kingswood branch) and some of them were awkward...this seems like a piece of cake in comparison!
  12. Hopefully going to be out on the boat next week, if things go to plan I should have 3/4 of a free day in Birmingham, with the only aim to be around Alvechurch by the evening. I was wondering about going down Farmers Bridge locks, then the Aston locks, Salford Junction and then make my way back to Farmers Bridge via the Birmingham & Warwick, Digbeth Branch and Ashted locks. I've never done any of these flights so it seems a worthwhile way to spend some free time. How long would this take roughly please, including the trips through Farmers Bridge? And is it an easy route to single hand?
  13. I suppose if they could restore the canal through Berwick tunnel into Shrewsbury and also the Trench canal then it would make the detour from Norbury an attractive idea. Would reopening only as far as Newport or Wappenshall persuade many Shroppie boaters on the long pound to add an extra 36 locks to their journey (to go there and back), for approximately 8-10 miles of new canal?
  14. How about increasing the depth of 8 of the locks and dig out the last two in order provide space to build a basin at the bottom of the locks for people to moor in, before the junction with the Ship Canal?
  15. What's the likelihood of seeing either the locks down to the Ship Canal at Runcorn reopened or the SU's Newport Branch, within say the next 10 years? They have both been long-standing restoration 'projects'.
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