Farmer's Thirteen Locks

Farmers Thirteen Locks was just round the corner from Gas Street Basin. Occasionally working boat would moor at the beginning of the arm which ran for over a mile behind Great Charles Street. In those days, you always left lock gates open. If a boat had just come up the flight you had to navigate down the locks with care for if you worked the locks too quickly you could end up with too much water overflowing and pouring down the tow path.

Coming up the locks you had to remember to remove the cabin chimney before entering the lock under Newhall Bridge, as there was inadequate headroom and your chimney would be crushed as the boat rose in the lock.

Although Birmingham was a smokeless zone, the industry still produced a lot of air pollution and early mornings and evenings would often have a thin atmostpheric smog, and effect I loved to try to capture.

The pair in the picture are moored in the Newhall Branch which ran for over a mile behind Great Charles Street to Newhall Road.