Monday, 24 February 2014

Daw End Branch.


Since our last blog,a couple of weeks ago,we have been going over old territory so I really didn’t have a lot to put in a blog,sorry Heather and Steve.We’ve been back to Brownhills and to Longwood Junction again,as well as stopping at a couple of out of the way places in between.We are now moored again where we were  back in the middle of January,close to the Manor arms on the Daw End Branch.If you remember,we stopped here on the only day they don’t do food in the evening,i.e. Wednesday.This time there would be no surprises,we got here yesterday and went for lunch,they do a nice roast dinner with three choices and together with a pint or two of Cocker Hoop we had a very nice meal thankyou.

Lord Hayes Branch 002 Lord Hayes Branch 006

Before and after last Tuesday.It snowed at Sneyd and it was a lovely sunny afternoon when we got to Fishley.

We left Sneyd Junction on the Tuesday after our last blog,it snowed in the morning but by the time we left at lunchtime the snow had all gone and it was a lovely sunny day.As we approached Fishley Junction on the W&E,which was where Lord Hayes Branch used to be,we decided to call it a day and moor up.The weather forecast for the following day was not at all good and here looked as good a place as any to weather the expected storm.On Thursday we set off again and made our way back to the visitor moorings at Brownhills where we were in for a bit of a surprise.When we’d left Brownhills,at the beginning of February,we’d been the only boats moored there and on our travels we had only seen four other boats,three of which were heading the opposite way.Four boats is quite a lot at this time of year and we had only seen two others since New Years Eve.Anyway,when we got to Brownhills there were five boats already there and one more turned up on Friday,quite a flotilla had gathered.

We stayed at Brownhills until the Sunday,replenishing our supplies and making use of our bus passes.One of the things I have wanted to do since we last visited Birmingham,is to try the Chinese Buffet on New Street,so on Saturday,off we went on the bus and I got my wish.I have often been intrigued by the sign advertising all you can eat for £5 so,as we like the odd Chinese meal,down the stairs we went to give this one a try.It turned out to be just what it said on the sign,though you do have to like chicken,it was the only meat on the menu.

Daw End Branch 2 005 Daw End Branch 2 006

Land & Water working hard dredging the Daw End Canal.When we went up five weeks ago it was shallow in places,it’s not like that now.

Daw End Branch 2 001 Daw End Branch 019

There we are on Daw End Visitor Moorings and Lisa doing a stitch in time on the machine we bought at Beeston on the Shroppie.

Our first stop from Brownhills was Daw End visitor moorings on the Daw End Canal near Aldridge.Aston Manor Transport Museum is about a miles walk from the moorings and we had decided to take a look,it’s only open Saturday,Sunday and Tuesday so here was our chance.It’s only a small museum but its run by a band of dedicated volunteers who restore,as well as maintain,their fleet of buses and trucks and also have a number of running days.We spent a few very enjoyable hours there and the volunteers are more than happy to talk about their exhibits.On Monday we left there and made our way the three miles back to Longwood moorings above the top lock on the Rushall Branch.The last time we were here was five weeks ago and this time I wanted to give Chyandour a good clean if the weather was kind to us,which it was.I also wanted to take the opportunity to change the gearbox ATF now that she has done over a thousand hours.

Daw End Branch 002 Daw End Branch 004

A different sort of sign to promote your business,this one as we walked to the Transport Museum.One of the exhibits,a Trent Motor Traction BMMO S.O.N. in use from 1940 to 1954 with one of the local firms when I lived near Nottingham.I don’t think I ever travelled on one of these,I was only six when she was taken out of service.

Daw End Branch 005 Daw End Branch 014

Me having a sit in the drivers seat.I’ve let my PSV entitlement go now so it’s unlikely I’ll ever sit in the drivers seat again,certainly not professionally anyway.Another vehicle I once had the pleasure of driving,one like this while delivering milk around the mean streets of Derby

Friday and Saturday we went off on the local buses to visit a few nearby places,Friday to Wednesbury where there’s a B&Q and an Ikea,and Saturday,after walking into Aldridge,we went to Sutton Coldfield.Now Sutton Coldfield is a place I remember from my truck driving days,not for the town centre,which I had never seen,just the surrounding roads.There was no A38 to bypass it in those days and we were in the habit of taking a shortcut to the M5 motorway on one of the local roads.On night the residents of one particular road parked their cars,alternately,to protest at the use of their road as a through route for trucks.It was all a bit chaotic and I believe they all got fined a fiver for their trouble,which they could all well afford,but they achieved their aim and got a weight limit imposed on the road.Anyway,I have no hard feelings and Sutton Coldfield turned out to be a place worth visiting.Aldridge too is worth a look,we had a browse around and then went into the Avion for lunch.The Avion is a Wetherspoons pub that was as a cinema from 1938 till 1967,became a bingo hall till 2009,and is now a nice pub.We left Longwood yesterday and made our way here where we intend to stay for a couple of days,maybe get another pint of Cocker Hoop,who knows.

That’s all again for this week folks,I’ll try harder next week.In the last two weeks we have travelled 15 miles and done no locks again,Lisa’s really getting it easy.That gives us a Grand Total of 582 Locks and 1027 Miles since October 2012.Take care everyone.



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