Archive for the 'Canals' Category

Horny Cock

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Now I’ve got your attention, you’ll be disappointed.

The current roadworks on the A4124 have pushed a good bit more traffic over the amusingly-named Black Cock Bridge. Anyone that knows the bridge knows that it’s fearsomely steep- slightly less so than the pre-1994 Clayhanger Bridge, but still steep and narrow, and blind at the summit (this side is slightly less steep than the other):

This means that, except at night, it’s an appropriate place to use a car horn.

My recovery from surgery dictates that I should try to walk a reasonable distance each day, and a walk to the bridge and down the towpath is both not too inconvenient and fairly pleasant, but with the extra traffic it has revealed to me just how many people are both incapable of using the horn correctly, and indeed of realising why others might do so, and it is, as one might say, boiling my piss too a disproportionate degree.

For the record, as there’s not room for two cars to pass, the idea is to approach at a speed you could stop in, sound your own horn once, maybe twice, and listen for the same from the other side, so that only one of you passes the narrow bit, and causes the minimum of noise nuisance. This might mean, for example, muting the stereo.

The idea isn’t to approach fast, sounding the horn repeatedly, with a mobile phone held to your ear, just for one (twattish) example.

A few years ago, residents near the bridge wanted the bridge closed when a long-lost consultation took place, citing danger and noise. I had little sympathy, given that the bridge has been there longer than them, but really, with the number of idiots I’ve heard of late, I can hardly blame them.

A Frosty Reception

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Having fixed my bike on Christmas Eve, I thought I’d take advantage of the daylight and fully functioning gears and go to Chasewater for the first time in months. The canal was frozen, and the towpaths covered in frost, but the only time I had a slip was climbing Ogley Junction bridge, making it neccesary to walk over it. Other than that, the frost hissed away under the tyres harmlessly, though I took it very carefully over the railway aqueduct, with it’s exposed brick path covered in frost.

I’ve biked a bit in the recent cold and since the fix, but only short hops on main roads, and it was nice to get back on the canal: few people were about, the sun was bright, and while it was cold, the sharpness of it felt good.

The local swan family were about, but split by the icy canal between Clayhanger and Anchor bridges the cygnets now pretty much fully grown but still grey in places, and hoping for food from me:

A fully-grown cygnet at Anchor Bridge

A fully-grown cygnet at Anchor Bridge

The neighbourhood cats around Ogley Hay were making use of the ice to cross the canal and extend their territory, but didn’t stay still long enough to get my gloves off and photograph them.

Chasewater itself was almost deserted: a couple of joggers and dog walkers- and the seats were all covered in frost or water, so I didn’t hang about. I didn’t even attempt to ride up Ogley Junction bridge this time, but it was still a bit of a game: evidently my cheap and nasty “whatever it came with” bike tyres, while a conmpromise most of the time, are better than one would expect on ice: perhaps bike and car tyres have some similarities at the budget end of the market.

I ended up home by 9:30- with cold hands and face, but feeling better than when I left out.

Town and Country

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

We’ve had a day off today, and went out for a walk: after a bus to Cannock, we walked back via a lane or two and Norton Canes, the Cannock Extension Canal, and a footpath over the fields from Pelsall.

It’s about time for a non-whinging post, so here goes.

As Bob has commented, you can find some lovely countryside so close to home, here in the West Midlands conurbation, especially on the canals. Excuse the slightly duff cameraphone photos.

Today we walked around 8 miles, and by far the majority was in country lanes, woodland, or canal towpath, in the sunshine, just when, like the Bumpkin, I was feeling summer had gone.

The Cannock Extension makes a nice walk- sadly it now terminates at the A5, after it was abandoned further up.


Cannock Extension Canal, 2/9/2010

Canal Basin

Grove Colliery Basin, 2/9/2010

A walk up the cut

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

We took advantage of the weather and had a walk up the canal to The Fingerpost, and passing by the Brownhills Canal Festival. If anything, it was actually a little hot for walking, but sitting at a canalside (both at the pub and when we had a break at the festival) was very nice, and I was able to quench my thirst with isotonic Stella.

The festival itself was pretty well attended for something taking place on a match day of that tedious sport known as football, and an F1 race. The weather must have helped.

Up The Cut

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Today, thanks my sister-in-law and husband, we’ve had a nice trip up the canal from here to here and back (with a lunch stop here) on a hired narrowboat. Very pleasant it was too.

I like canals, and I’ve walked a good fe miles along them, but have only been on a canal boat once before, over 30 years ago, and I’ve never piloted one before. It’s quite tricky at first, but you get a feel for it after a while. It still needs concentration though, despite the low speed. We managed relatively few collisions though :-).

It’s a relaxing way to travel, with only the dubious boating skills getting in the way, but don’t plan to go far, we did around 10 miles all day. Photos here.

Bentley Canal

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Picked up via the ever vigilant YamYam, there’s a nice bit of local history talking about the Bentley Canal, over here at Captain Ahab’s Watery Tales.

This blog is protected by Spam Karma 2: 39667 Spams eaten and counting...