Two weddings and a railway

Two weddings

Recently, I was near to Tettenhall, now a part of the city of Wolverhampton, and decided to visit the scenes of two weddings on the Evans side of Andrew’s Kindred.  These weddings have featured before:  Nan’s wedding, and Lilian’s wedding.

To recap, Nan’s wedding took place on 16 September 1912 at Tettenhall Wood Congregational Church.  But where was it? Continue reading “Two weddings and a railway”


Mottey Meadows Debacle

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?


Mottey Meadows 1 s
Mottey Meadows NNR 2018

And this:

Mottey Meadows 2 s
Mottey Meadows 2018

And concerning for a permissive path, looking back on the way out:

Mottey Meadows 6 s
My exit, but maybe someone’s intended entry – note the gate is chained and padlocked. I climbed over the gate, but image someone less nimble …

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 …

supply boats Betton Mill day 2
Supply boats at Betton Mill. In my previous post, I failed to point out that these a just the sort of boats that my Evans ancestors would have lived and worked on.

More Onion peeling

Peeling back my Onions, a follow up to Getting to know my Onions

After visiting Lapley, I took a walk across parched, cracked fields of wheat (the long, hot summer of ’18) to Bishops Wood, perhaps to find some family history.  Perhaps just travelling the same paths and lands; perhaps finding something more obvious.  Well, there was an Onion in the churchyard to St John the Evangelist.  To be precise, Albert Charles Onion, below (literally). Continue reading “More Onion peeling”


I’ve not been finding time to post of late, but I have visited a few places associated with family history.

On 24 June 1742 6th great grandparents Elizabeth Swan and William Martin were married at All Saints, Lapley, Staffordshire.  Continue reading “Lapley”

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”

Ancient and Modern

moat 5
Remains of Norbury Manor, 700 years old.

One of the things I have been determined to do while cruising is to visit places near to the cut, but of interest in other contexts.  Yesterday, I set off to see what remains of the ancient Norbury Manor, marked on modern Ordnance Survey (OS) maps as “moat”, and similarly marked on the OS map surveyed in 1880.  I also found something still more ancient, and something futuristic. Continue reading “Ancient and Modern”

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”