Nb Whiskey Mac on the Coventry Canal at Polesworth on a frosty morning.

A chilly visit to Polesworth, in northern Warwickshire.  This includes a bit of local history, some old buildings, shops, and some canal history, and revisiting a court case. Continue reading “Polarsworth”

Dennis’s End

This is the fourth and final part of my review of how my ancestors died.  So far, there has been nothing dramatic, but …

Previous episodes are: Brown’s End, Carter’s End, and Evans’s End.

Let’s start with my father. Continue reading “Dennis’s End”

Lest we forget: Pte. 1680 H.S. Sanders

Further exploration of the men commemorated on the war memorial in the churchyard to St James, Ogley Hay.

The bald fact is that Private Hubert Sedgwick Sanders was killed by an enemy sniper on 5th May 1915, during fierce fighting for Hill 60, in the second battle of Ypres.  But there is more of local interest to this story of a brave young man who sacrificed his own future so that others could live theirs, ours. Continue reading “Lest we forget: Pte. 1680 H.S. Sanders”

Cut and Trust

Yesterday was a long day:  shopping, four locks (Glascote Locks up and down); water stop; pump out, diesel, coal, and logs at Fazeley Mill Marina, where they were very helpful.  Then back onto the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in the rain, bound for somewhere near Middleton Lakes.  (Mandy, Nb Zephyranthes, if you are passing, thanks for the idea!).

Note:  I had hoped to wind at Kettlebrook Wharf, but, although this is marked as a winding hole in my Nicholson Guide, it is cordoned off and turning is not possible.  Another crew had the same idea as me (thankyou for lockie service).  The Canal & River Trust (CRT) Canal Map does not show a winding hole there.

And then, as I passed the boatyard just past Coleshill Road Bridge – on this section the bridges are not numbered – another boater warned me that there was a closed swing Continue reading “Cut and Trust”

Up the junction


Recently, I passed through Fazeley Junction (twice), which is still a busy little place, despite the A5 by-passing in the early 1990s. Fazeley is essentially part of Tamworth, but is useful for boaters, boasting a Tesco Express, Chinese, Indian, and Bangladeshi restaurants and takeaways and a couple of pubs. There is also Tameside Nature Reserve, of which more another time (maybe).  And it’s not so far to Asda, M&S, and other shops in the exemplar Thatcherite planning zone that is Ventura Retail Park. Continue reading “Up the junction”

If you go down in the woods …

I took a break from cruising, spending a few weeks at King’s Orchard Marina, near Huddlesford Junction, on the Coventry Canal.  My first stop after leaving there was Hopwas, and here are some pictures from a walk in Hopwas Hays Wood.  We used to go there with Mom and Dad years ago, and it seems little changed in half a century.

This large area of woodland is mostly deciduous, and is on the north side of the main road between Tamworth and Lichfield (A51).  It should be noted that this area is used from time to time by the British Army for training, and at these times access is prohibited – indicated by red flags by day and red lights by night.


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Steel town shuttle

This concerns the family Brotherton and their journeys from Walsall to Middlesbrough and back.  The people are not direct ancestors, being ancestors of auntie Jessie, who married my uncle Alan Dennis (father’s brother).  It is also an example of how Ancestry’s hints can lead to something previously undiscovered.

There are two sources of curiosity about this part of the family hedgerow that is Andrew’s Kindred: Continue reading “Steel town shuttle”