On Tuesday we had arranged to meet Jer and the grandkids at the Black Country Living Museum , of course that’s not just down the road from Rugby so we arranged to hire a Toyota Yaris or a Fiat Picanto from Townsend Vehicle Hire. Joy posted our plans on Facebook and was encouraged by friends who speak the local lingo to “Av a bostin time wo yer mar wench” and “Ar, ave a cup of tay our wench an mind it don’t get dark over Bill’s Muthers!”
I hopped on my bike bright and early Tuesday morning and rode over to the car hire depot, I arrived a bit early than I expected and my designated car wasn’t yet available, never mind says the manager “You can take mine, I think you’ll like it!”
Like it? It was a Mercedes C 220 BlueTEC AMG! I must say all the bells & whistles took a bit of working out and the first time the Bluetec kicked in at a junction I thought I’d stalled it. The journey to Dudley was completed in comfort and style, although my dear son did comment, “Dad, you look so wrong in that car!” .
We had a great time at the Black Country Living Museum , I had some bostin fittle 1, a half of Bank’s Mild & a cheese & onion cob at The Bottle & Glass pub and later sarnies on board Jer’s boat which was moored just outside the back of the museum.
As it happened ‘twas a bit dark over Bill’s Muthers but just as we decided to go on a trip into Dudley Tunnel the sun came out, but it was still out when we had completed our visit to the limestone caverns with our very entertaining guide, the highlight, of course, was seeing the entrance to Wrens Nest Tunnel (see photo).
Before we said goodbye to the family we had a meal at the nearby “Bostin Fittle” pub.
1) Bostin fittle = Great food
For 50 top words and phrases that say you’re from Birmingham or the Black Country
click the link, it’s from the Birmingham Mail so it must be true.
This morning I had to give the Mercedes back but before I did we used it to do get our ‘Click & Collect’ shopping from Tescos. Then it was off, headed north. It was another lovely morning , we passed through Newbold Tunnel (which now has none of it’s lights working) and had a good road (made good progress) until we met a boat who warned us that there were delays at a bridge up ahead.
There’s some serious repair work going on to stabilise Bridge 34, Easenhall Lane (commenced on the 11th May 2015 and will take 11 weeks) and boats were being let through every two hours, fortunately we must have timed it right as we only had about a 10 minute wait until the convoy of waiting boats was waved through.
We took the opportunity to get out of the convoy by stopping at Rose Narrowboats for diesel, a pump out, lunch & a top up of our water tank. We have been seeing a lot of workboats bearing their name and apparently they now have as many workboats as hire boats. Not a bad plan, buy BW workboats and hire them back to C&RT or their contractors.
The canal first has the railway alongside and after a while, the M6 (we saw these Big Boys’ Toys between the Wyken Arm and Aldermans Green) but the motorway is just a faint noise now we are on the 7 Day moorings just short on Hawkesbury Junction (aka Sutton Stop after the stop lock where Mr Sutton the toll keeper presided for many years).