Monday, 20 January 2014

Beautiful Brownhills.


Ok,the title may not be everyone’s opinion of Brownhills in the West Midlands,but for us boaters it has a lot going for it.Along with the spotlessly clean Service Block,containing showers,loos and plenty of hot water,there’s a Tesco,Wilco’s,Aldi,B&M and the High Street shops just across the road,and the moorings here have a paved surface with bollards.What more could we want ?

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The War memorial on the top of Barr Beacon and one of the views,notice the snow in the foreground.It was a bit of a surprise to wake and find a dusting of snow,it didn’t last long though.Barr Beacon is one of the highest points in the West Midlands and we walked there while moored at Longwood Junction.

We arrived here in Brownhills,on Thursday,having left the mooring at Longwood Junction on Wednesday.It isn’t very far but on our way here we stopped overnight at the Manor Arms,a pub next to the towpath,on the 5.5 mile long Daw End Branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal.It does pay to adequately research canalside pubs first ‘cos,having spent all day anticipating a pleasant evening meal,we discovered that they don’t do food on a Wednesday evening.Fortunately,just along the road from the Manor Arms is The Boathouse and we just got there in time as they stop serving at 8.

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Line astern as we cruise along the Daw End Branch and the sign at Catshill Junction where the Daw End meets the Wyrley & Essington.

The journey along the Daw end Branch wasn’t too bad,it’s a tad weedy and shallow  in places,particularly between the junction at Longwood and Walsall Wood Bridge,but from there on it was fine.On one side of the canal can be seen huge quarries which supply the local brickworks.At Catshill Junction we turned left onto the Wyrely & Essington Canal itself and made our way here to Brownhills where we intend to stay till tomorrow.Lisa has had plenty of retail therapy while we have been here.On Saturday,Bus Passes in hand,we set of to have a look at some of the local area and we had a pleasant day enjoying brief stops in Walsall,West Bromwich,Wolverhampton, Wednesbury and Dudley.We had breakfast at the ‘Spoons in West Bromwich and an evening meal in the ‘Spoons in Walsall,all for a total of less than £20 for the two of us.Don’t we lead an exciting lifestyle?

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Moored up on the Visitor Moorings at Brownhills with the Amenity Building in the background centre right.The two London,Midland & Scottish Railway Interchange basin arms here at Brownhills.The left one is now moorings and the right one is used as a Slipway for the Canoe Club that shares the Amenity Block.This Interchange enabled the railways to use narrowboats to deliver and collect goods from factories alongside the canals.It was one of a number of interchange basins in Birmingham that enabled the canals to survive after the arrival of the railways.

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A 46 feet high stainless steel sculpture of a coal miner, erected in May 2006 on a roundabout at one end of the High Street in Brownhills.It commemorates the town's mining tradition and is called Jigger after Jack "Jigger" Taylor who was killed in a roof fall at Walsall Wood pit in 1951.The other is a mural on a wall as you leave the Bus Station in Dudley.I’ve not been able to find anything to say what it represents though it’s obviously to do with the local industries,i.e. chain making and mining.

Well,that’s all again for this week.Since our last blog we have done no Locks and 6 Miles giving a Grand Total of 582 Locks and 994 Miles since we set off back in October 2012.Take care everyone.

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