This week we are moored at the top of the Rushall flight of locks on the Rushall Canal,in the West Midlands,about a mile and a half from Walsall to the West,and about the same from Aldridge to the East.The Rushall Canal is a bit under three miles long with nine locks and was completed in 1847.The junction here is formed from three canals,there’s the Rushall,the Daw End Branch of the Wryley & Essington and also the Hay Head Branch.The Hay Head branch was to give access to the Lime works at Hay Head enabling them to supply Lime to the Black Country Ironworks by canal.
The highlight of our week was Tuesday,when,instead of going for the Steak Night at the nearest Wetherspoons,we decided to go to a pub that Lisa and Di had spotted.This was the Tennis Court on Walsall Road about ten minutes walk from Perry Barr top lock.They were doing meals at 50% off,so all four of us had a very enjoyable meal for £16 with excellent service and cheap beer too.On Wednesday Lisa had to go to the dentist to get a tooth attended too after losing a filling a few weeks ago.We’d spotted a dentist on the Walsall Road as we walked into Great Barr and made an appointment last Friday.We chose wisely because Lisa was treated by a Miss Chaudary who did an excellent job for a very reasonable charge.From the dentists we hopped onto a bus,showed our passes and went to West Bromwich,where we had a bit more retail therapy,before enjoying lunch in the local ‘spoons which has an interesting facade,being a former Billiard Hall.In the afternoon went to watch a film in the nearby Odeon Cinema,courtesy of Orange Wednesdays.
The much travelled Farley Drinking Fountain in West Bromwich.Built as a memorial to his mother by Reuben Farley,a renowned industrialist and philanthropist who served as Mayor of West Bromwich five times.The front of the Wetherspoons that was formerly a Billiard Hall.
We finally left Perry Barr top lock last Friday and made our way along the Tame Valley Canal to Rushall Junction where we turned sharp right then cruised up here to Longwood Junction where we will probably stay till Thursday or Friday.
Heading along the Tame Valley Canal beneath a couple of very high bridges as we go through the cutting and then high on the embankment looking down on the houses below.
Turning off the Tame Valley onto the Rushall,it’s quite a tight turn.Safely round and looking up the bit of the Tame Valley we haven’t yet cruised.
Lisa closing the gate as Andy and Fenakepan head up the Rushall Locks and then opening the next lock for me.It may look like she does it all but the four of us have a great system and share the work.
Di on Fenakapan making the Bacon Sandwiches for lunch.Where we are moored now at Longwood Junction,we’re the second of the narrowboats moored centre right.The centre of the picture is the Hay Head Branch,bottom left is the Daw End and centre right is the Rushall.
The end of the Hay Head Branch today,it’s just a mooring now,I’m standing next to the A34 which cuts the canal in two.Lisa looking at what remains of the Hay Head Branch,this point is about halfway along the original length.There’s nothing left of the old Limestone mines now but I’ve found out that a John Wilkinson obtained the limestone for his furnaces at Bilston from here in the early 19th Century.
Well,that’s all again for this week folks.Since our last blog we have done 9 Locks and 5 Miles,giving us a Grand Total of 581 Locks and 988 Miles since October 2012.Take care everyone.