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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

All the way to Anglesey

We woke up to a foggy day but it soon cleared up once we got under way. Back to Pelsall Junction and left turn towards Brownhills. 

A foggy day on the Cannock Extension Canal.

It wasn't long before we were there and found the services and water point shared with a Canoe Centre. We did the needful and just moved on a little to another mooring that happened to be right outside a Tesco's. There was an Aldi's close too. We took a walk on to the High Street to see if we could find some books we were after in Charity shops. No luck, so back for a big shop.

Brownhills used to be a big mining area although you wouldn't know it now. To remind everybody this fantastic statue has been erected in 2006 on a very prominent roundabout. It was designed by John McKenna and has an official nickname of Jigger after Jack 'Jigger' Taylor who died in a roof collapse at Walsall Wood pit in 1951.

After lunch we moved on to Catshill Junction. Here the Wyrley and Essington Canal turns north. Soon after the junction I spotted a damson tree heavy with fruit on the off side. I was just about to move over when a boat came down the arm. The fruit was not quite ripe but will make great pies/jams etc. A little further on we came to Ogley Junction. This is where the Wyrley and Essington continued on to Huddlesford Junction, but is now blocked, although under restoration by the Lichfield and Hatherton Canal Trust. We turned left on to the Anglesey Branch.

Signpost at Ogley Junction.

The cut passes under the A5, Watling Street and then the M6 Toll Road before arriving at the foot of the Chasewater Reservoir in what used to be a colliery Basin. There was no room to moor right at the end due to weed but we found a mooring not far away and walked up to the dam. The Dam was built in 1799 soley for supplying the canal. Unfortunately it burst soon after it opened.Luckily no lives were lost. In the end it was so successful they sold water to other companies. It was recently been drained and cleaned and the dam reconditioned. It was empty several years and caused problems for water supply to the BCN. It seems to be full now.

The termination of the Anglesey Branch. A narrow boat can be seen at the very end and above the house on the left can be seen the dam.

The dam wall showing it is almost full and the octagonal valve house that is the same as the toll houses on the BCN used to be.

We managed to find an ice cream just before they closed and watched some wire pulled wake boarders. We also saw a Crested Grebe with three chicks on the water.

Helen happy with an ice cream and a bit of sun.

Our mooring for the evening.

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