Gnosall Heath

Continuing my journey in Evans’ wake.

I had been to Gnosall many times in my cycling years, but, apart from thinking the canalside was a  colourful view, and the Boat Inn a pleasant lunch venue, I had passed through without noticing much else.  Having cruised up from Norbury Junction, I found a nice shady spot within staggering distance of the Navigation Inn. Continue reading “Gnosall Heath”


V is for …

The latest in my ad hoc series on surname origins.

Based on: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.

Van Dyck

Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Georgette Van Dyck, who married Allan James Dennis (my 3rd cousin, about whom I know only the rudiments of hatch, match and despatch) in 1945, registered Cannock.  I suspect they met in the Netherlands during the war.  In 1939 James and his mother lived at the corner of Brownhills Road and Norton East Road, Norton Canes, Staffordshire. Continue reading “V is for …”

High Offley

Just a short trip today:  about two hours to just short of the Anchor Inn, by Anchor Bridge (42).  It was windy and the head wind made a real difference.  Normally, I pass moored boats at about 1,000 rpm (a pity so many don’t!), but needed 1,300 to maintain headway.

Continue reading “High Offley”

Market Drayton

For the last few days I have been at Market Drayton, while some engineering work was carried out on my boat, of which more in another post.

I have been to “Drayton”, as the locals say, several times to play hockey, but never before visited the town centre.  Here are images from this pleasant town with several pubs, a
Continue reading “Market Drayton”

Supply boats at Betton Mill

Betton Mill, Market Drayton.

These boats moored up next to me while I awaited professional attention to my ailing batteries and inverter charger, of which more later.

They supply coal, gas, fenders, pump out and other services and goods to other boats on the cut.   The Chamberlain Carrying Company.

Continue reading “Supply boats at Betton Mill”

In William’s Wake

WM above Audlem
Whiskey Mac above Audlem – I would prefer to lose the ‘e’, but it came with the boat. One day …

Here I am on the Shropshire Union Canal at Audlem, Cheshire.  Sometime in the late 1830’s my fourth great grandfather William Evans, a boatman, travelled this way with his family.  Some of the places along the way would be recognisable to him now. Continue reading “In William’s Wake”

Right as nine pence

Here are two old coins (one is just about 100 years old) that my father obtained when he was in charge of the payroll at Ever Ready, Park Lane, Wolverhampton, in the second half of the 1960s.  These coins were still legal tender, and in use, at the time.  They were still legal tender until decimalisation in 1971.

geo iii 6 d geo v 3d obv
George III sixpenny and George V threepenny (1918) bits (obverse).

On the left the outline of George III is just discernible on this well-worn coin and must have been minted before his death in 1820, so it is probably over 200 years old.  The George V ‘thrupenny’ bit is remarkably clear given that it had been in circulation for about 50 years (though it has lived in a small box for the last 50 or so).

geo iii 6 d geo v 3d rev
George III sixpenny and George V threepenny (1918) bits (reverse).

 On the left the detail of the George III coin is completely worn away, but it was still worth six pennies.  I wonder how many Christmas puddings it was used in.

So what would these coins be worth at the time?  In 1820 six pence would be the equivalent of £1.90 today, in terms of buying power, and the three penny coin would be worth 60 pence.  (Calculated using Measuring Worth).