Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Curly Wurly - Saturday 9th May

This morning we left our mooring at the top of the locks at different times so that we were not in one long convoy.


As we left we passed the home of the famous Chubb Lock and Safe Company a real land mark in Wolverhampton like the Express and Star building.IMG_6089

At Horseley Fields Junction we took a left turn following Nb Isander through the bridge onto the Wyrley & Essington Canal affectionately known as the Curly Wurly because it is a contour canal and winds about to follow the same level.


We joined Nb Toddy 2 in the Bentley Mooring Arm and went into the Bentley out of town shopping complex which has all the major shops plus a cinema. The canal follows the shops to the end of the Sainsbury store and Nb Isander is moored just outside in quite a pleasant area.3

The section after this was very narrow and shallow but we were soon out into a mixture of countryside and the suburbs passing the Rough Wood Country Park and alongside the M6 on a stretch of canal I have often seen from the motorway and wondered where it was. The Holly Bank Basin looked very nice (the bottom right photo) but no boats were moored in it.4

At Birchills Junction  we carried straight on as this is where we will return to later in the week on our way back from Walsall Town. 5

We noticed that the towpath was looking very smart on the next section of the canal and came across this group of Community Payback workers tidying all along the towpath and canal edge. They really appreciated us telling them what a good job they had made of it.IMG_6102

Once passed Little Bloxwich we were out in the country and could see 4 or 5 boats ahead as they wound their way around the twisting canal routeIMG_6112

As we were approaching our final mooring for the day we had to travel through a large group of anglers and as the boats slowed down for them we began to form a bit of a  queue. The aim is to keep a good distance between the boats so that the following boats do not pick up any rubbish on the props , here the water was clear so no problem.IMG_6115

Pelsall Works Bridge is the oldest Horseley Coal and Iron Company Iron bridge on the network and is unusual in that it is part iron and part brick the later ones all being iron.IMG_6116

We all moored up opposite Pelsall Common on ground which mother nature has reclaimed since the demise of the Colliery's and Iron works which originally occupied the site and were the reason for the canals being. It is now a very pleasant area and one would think you were way out in the country.IMG_6119

At Pelsall Junction the Cannock Extension Canal runs1.8-mile north to Norton Canes Docks,originally it ran to Hednesford, and served a number of collieries, which provided the main traffic. It opened in 1863, and the northern section closed in 1963, as a result of mining subsidence. It joined with the Hatherton Canal which provided a link to the Staffs and Worcester Canal at Hatherton Junction where we tried to get a pump out last week.




  1. Reading this with interest as I'm planning to incorporate some of the BCN in our September trip. We've done Horseley Fields Jct down to Walsall, and back the other way via the Walsall Canal, but not the bit to Pelsall Common and Chasewater.

  2. Hi Adam
    Glad to hear that you are going to explore this hidden gem. The canals of the BCN are really worth visiting and very quiet. As you know we live in the area and have only just got around to visiting. So far everybody has been very friendly and interested in the boats.