Monday, 27 April 2015

Lichfield and Fradley - Monday 27th April

This morning we walked back into Whittington and caught the 9.41am No.765 bus to Lichfield. In the village there are lots of beautiful flowering Cherry trees like this one.20150427_092640

On route into Lichfield we passed a section of the Lichfield Canal which covers a distance of just over 7 miles through 30 locks from Ogley Junction on the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) to Huddlesford Junction on the Coventry Canal. Built between 1794 and 1797 as the Ogley Locks Section of the Wyrley and Essington Canal, the right to navigation was extinguished by The British Transport Commission Act, 1954 and much of the canal was drained and filled in during the 1960s. It will make a great route when it is eventually restored.canal

We spent some time looking around the shops, both those in the new shopping precinct and those in the old streets like the ones below. June purchased some Bead Making Kits from Spellbound, the bead making shop.


After a coffee and delicious cakes at the bakery we walked up to the Cathedral, a magnificent site across the pool. We explored last time we were here so headed back to the bus stop for the journey back to the boat.lichfield-cathedral

As the sun was still shinning and very little wind we decided to head off and were soon passing Huddlesford Junction the northern end of the Lichfield Canal part of which we had seen earlier this morning. We will be passing the other end on our explorer tour of the BCN.b1

Just round the corner is the old canal side pub, the Plough.


When we passed this way in 2012 Orchard Marina was just being built but now it is full of boats and caravans.IMG_5905

Through the next bridge is the busy Streethay Wharf with lots of boat repair and blacking activity going on.IMG_5910

There were several properties for sale along the Coventry Canal but we thought G & C might like to consider this one with it own mooring.IMG_5912

Soon we were approaching Fradley Junction which looked delightful in the sunshine and with the flowering cherry trees.IMG_5915

The Coventry Canal  enters the Trent and Mersey Canal some 25 miles from the start at Sawley and 67 miles from the other end at Preston Brooke.IMG_5926

At the junction we turned left and headed for the first of the two locks. They have quite a tight entrance through bridges and at a weekend are a magnet for Gongoozlers ( watchers).IMG_5923

Just above Middle Lock this run off takes water down passed the junction to a large pool which is now a nature reserve.IMG_5925

This was built by the Trent and Mersey Canal Company to stop water being given to the Coventry Canal Company at the Junction. In those days water was a precious commodity for the Canal companies.IMG_5928

I am not sure why these lower gates should be shaped like a vee as they were well warn and make an ideal trap for the front button of the long working boats.IMG_5916

We were lucky as both locks were in our favour and there were two very nice Volunteer Lockies on duty who helped us through. They said that their day had been very quiet.IMG_5917

This is Ecco’s usual position when we are travelling and she usually falls to sleep until we stop.IMG_5918

Although the moorings on Coventry Canal were full up to the junction we found a lovely spot just above Shade House Lock with plenty of grass for Ecco to play on. Once moored up we washed off the thick layer of dust we had collected on the boat from the mooring at Fazeley.IMG_5919

Ecco was really enjoying her play time on the grass and the walks she had before bedtime.


Just down the T & M is a C&RT info centre and they have an old van which is the type my father used to have and which I learnt to drive in, when I was only 16. I would drive it up and down the drive at the back of our house so many years ago I would not like to mention it here. The old Fords only had three gears so it was a big change to have to take my test in a four gear car. Still it did teach me to reverse using only wing mirrors as you could not see through the back of the van.IMG_5933

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