Tuesday the 7th was the second of two pretty hot days when the clouds lifted at last in April.

OD4A1844I wandered along the Birmingham & Fazeley canal to Cambrian Wharf by the Farmers Bridge Locks in central Birmingham, hoping that the CRT Canal Shop would be open – alas no (is it ever nowadays!)

Looking into the moorings at the wharf I spied a restored BW working boat No 249, a load of bicycles and two chaps repairing a bike. In the photo (left) the Cycle Chain set up is behind the wall on the right (click to enlarge).

This was part of a service under the banner Cycle Chain which is a non-profit making registered Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable objectives. Cycle Chain works with people with visual impairment and those recovering from mental health problems and gives them training in bicycle maintenance to enhance their lives by building skills and confidence to enable them to go forward.

OD4A1830What was going on here was repairing bikes for passers by, as well as selling and renting of bikes supplied by the West Midlands Police which were recovered but unclaimed by their owners, then refurbished with the help of those targeted for a leg-up in life.


OD4A1836The working boat was supplied by British Waterways for £1 and restored to its current pristine condition by Cycle Chain.





John (left) and Mark are two of the key fellows who, with the help of others, are involved in supplying the services at Cambrian Wharf and seemed to be enjoying it (and the sunshine). The service operates daily.


Do call in on them for a chat and a bike repair or to purchase or short term hire one.

You can read more of the Cycle Chain organisation by clicking here.

Later it got a little busier as shown below.

Cycle Chain Crowd