We had a great evening with Helen and Andy last night, involving eating, drinking and chatting. It’s always great to see them, and it’s been a while since the last time. This morning, it had rained overnight but wasn’t actually raining when we set off to walk down through town to the Birmingham Back to Backs. We’ve been trying to visit this National Trust property for years, but we’ve previously either been here on days when they were close, or we left it too late and they were fully booked. This time we’d worked out a plan, and booked a couple of weeks ago.
The houses are small, so there are timed guided tours. We were on the first of the day, with three generations of the same family making up the rest of the group. The kids, aged six and seven (nearly eight!) added to the whole thing, because the excellent guide got them involved in doing things children would have been doing in the 1830s.
The tour lasts quite a long time so afterwards we had lunch and did some food shopping for the next couple of days on the way back to the boat. This afternoon we walked along to the Roundhouse and had a look at their exhibition.
They were showing some tv films from the 1960s and 70s about plans for the regeneration of Birmingham’s canals, we were fascinating. One of them showed a trip up the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal from Salford Junction to Cambrian Wharf, but apart from the BT Tower it was difficult to recognise anything, it looked so different from today.
We also walked up to the Port Loop development to have a look at what’s going on. Only one side of the island has houses so far, with lots more foundations on the other side. The houses appear to come as prefabricated units, which are then clad. On the way back, we passed one of the groups who were paddling a kind of double canoe type thing, not sure if it was for pleasure or team building.
The weather hasn’t been nearly as bad as forecast. It’s hardly rained, although it has been a bit blustery at times. We start moving again tomorrow, and it will really feel as though we’re heading home.
0 miles, 0 locks. (315 miles, 218 locks)