Some time back (I lose track, just as I did on cycle and walking tours) I moored at Wheaton Aston, a small village in Staffordshire. Over the years I cycled through this village many times, but never had much of a look around – it was too near to home to stop for lunch.
A few images follow, but the subject of this post is a National Nature Reserve named Mottey Meadows. I looked on the www and it promised a variety of wildflowers. With wildflowers, I thought, there would be lots of insects, and, perhaps, birds. Having checked the OS map, off I set on a lovely summer morning. At the far (west) end of the village was a dusty, hedge-lined lane, which took me to a gate to Mottey Meadows. The lectern said:
“A permissive path is open through the hay meadows for the public to see the best of the wildflower displays from 1 June to 31 August.” The date on my pictures is 15 July, precisely in the middle.
And what did I see?
And concerning for a permissive path, looking back on the way out:
Thanks, Natural England!
A few images of Wheaton Aston
A pleasant village. I guess it is mainly dormitory, either for retired folk, or commuters to Stafford, Wolverhampton, or other reachable places. Did my boating ancestors visit? Who knows, but if they did there are still buildings that they would recognise. Did they visit the Zionist Chapel? At least it was there at the time. Again, who knows? As I understand it Zionism only emerged in the 20th century as a movement towards the creation of a Jewish state (Israel). I gather it was originally a Congregational Church, so my Evans kindred may have attended.
Obviously, they worked the canal and didn’t progress a few hours at a time. They would have worked long, hard days. Probably every day, except Sundays (I presume). There must have been a completely different infrastructure to do with horse power. My time-sensitive needs are (mainly) water, diesel (full tank does about 200 hours) and pump out (monthly), and, in the colder months, wood and coal (which is still a different world – I have gas for cooking). Their imperatives must have been more to do with getting their cargo to destination on time. Personal hygiene was less important than it is now …