Thursday 27 May 2021

Wood End - almost Fradley

Today's Canal - Trent and Mersey 

We awoke to a very bright blue sky - alas it was still cloudy last night when the lunar eclipse was supposed to happen so we saw absolutely nothing! Did it happen? 

Our overnight mooring was as good as we thought - just a photo to highlight how much improved this short length of bank now is.

Mike had a video conference meeting all morning and Christine took the opportunity to visit both Morrisons and Tesco, neither very far away. It was almost noon by the time we sere able to set off.

In a short distance we passed under a couple of railway bridges very near to each other. The first still carries the electrified main line but the other was a branch into the power station site. This was taken out of use some while ago but the imminent demolition of the cooling towers make the future more certain. A large school and extensive housing is planned to replace it - other parts of the site have already been developed for modern industrial units.

In any event, the photos show how blue the sky was!

Armitage Tunnel was only opened out in 1971, necessitated by the effects of mining subsidence. A wide modern road crosses over at the eastern end. It is at such a skew angle that it makes a 'tunnel' longer than some other original ones! We arrived as a boat was part way through from the other end but as soon as they emerged it was clear behind them.

We stopped for lunch around 1 o'clock for just over an hour. Apart from the towns, this canal is generally very green.

Building supplies are supposed to be in very short supply but at least Armitage Shanks are doing their bit for the fundamentals of construction!

As we passed the  entrance to Kings Bromley Marina (we thought about a temporary stay here but it is too far from any public transport for the car shuffle) we see that the clear skies were giving way to more complex cloud formations.

Kings Bromley Wharf was an early part of the canal economy but it was not until the early 20C that a creamery was built here. The buildings now all look very decrepit -some are listed so there limits on what can be done - but there were signs of activity. We later found a small car sales business advertising 17 used cars for sale from here. A Kings Bromley Village Plan from 2005 has an interesting photo of the creamery.

The other side of the main road is a much smaller boatyard and moorings. It is not clear how successful this is as it has now ceased to supply fuel (diesel and coal) and in 2016 the main building was put up for sale and a planning application made to convert into a dwelling. Not sure where that now stands.#

We planned to stop for the night before starting the locks down through Fradley and were fortunate to find a very good mooring just above the first, Wood End Lock.

6.6 Miles - 0 Locks

*The observant reader will have noticed that despite references to the contrary there are as yet no photos. Blogger is playing up and we cannot work out what the problem is! Hopefully will fix soon.

** If you have returned to this blog then you should now see the photos - this morning they uploaded without a hitch!

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