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”


Cutting the mustard

Just a few randomly ordered images accumulated (mainly) this month along the Middlewich Branch; a good mix of wildflowers and other things.


Bloomers on the Branch

To be precise, the Shropshire Union Middlewich Branch (SUMB); some of the flora in this neck of the woods.  The second part is about some of the history of the SUMB, and it is strangely topical.

Although this is not about family history, it is inconceivable that my Evans ancestors did not travel along this section of canal on their way to Wombourne. Continue reading “Bloomers on the Branch”

Travels on Shanks’s Pony

Here are a few pictures from recent walks.  On Friday I decided to walk all the way to Nantwich along the cut, which, at a relaxed pace, took just two hours.  It was not a great day for photography, but was a pleasant outing.

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Hedge laying on the Middlewich Branch.

At Barbridge Junction I turned left (east) towards Nantwich. Continue reading “Travels on Shanks’s Pony”

Under the spreading chestnut tree

Last week, as you may have gathered, I was in Warwick.  I had seen most of the well-known attractions before, but on a stroll found Abbey Park.  This is much less formal than the typical Victorian or Edwardian Parks, which are usually kept very well-manicured.  Still, it is a pleasant space in the urban area, with a couple of useful routes to and from the town centre. Continue reading “Under the spreading chestnut tree”

Chasewater return

Just a few things I saw on the way to Chasewater and back this morning.

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Flag iris on the cut
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Bramble blossom by the basin
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Bird’s Foot Trefoil where Cannock Chase Colliery No 1, “The Marquis” was. This is where some spoil from the M6-Toll was tipped. A post-industrial landscape you can enjoy.

Eagle-eyed locals may just pick out the top of the old valve gear building on Chasewater dam.

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In among the trefoil and rabit-graze grasses were several bee orchids.

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1939 and all that

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Rear view of 43 Chapel Street, Brownhills, by Joan Jackson.

A while back I looked at my father’s family as war approached – also 1939 and all that.  Now I visit my mother’s family, name of Brown, who lived at 41 Chapel Street.  Number 41 is the house beyond the hedge on the right of the painting.  The artist was Joan Jackson, who lived later at 43 with her husband Les.  Number 41 was where I spent the first year of my life and where my mother grew up.

I pointed out that searching the 1939 Register, online via Findmypast, can be a frustrating exercise, as the records of many people who are long dead remain locked because they have not been updated to anything like the present.  This time it would be more difficult.  I would have to break in by the back door.

Continue reading “1939 and all that”