After getting our shopping fix we headed off for Pelsall, the canal since Tipton has been so clear it's lovely going along being able to see under the water and watching all the little fish dart away, there's been a fair bit of rubbish too and it's very shallow in places.
It's a very interesting canal and I can see how it got the nick name of the Curley Wurley, being very twisty, there are lots of little arms, wharves and junctions along the way, unfortunately many of the junctions are no longer as the canals leading off are long gone.
The Wryley and Essenington Canal was opened in 1797 and connected the Birmingham Canal with the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal running from Horseley Fields Junction down to Huddlesford on the Coventry Canal. It no longer runs the entire course as the canal between Ogley Junction and Huddlesford was abandoned in 1954 but there are now plans to restore it.
We continued on our journey to Sneyd Junction and turned a sharp right under the bridge, ahead is a derelict lock and beyond the old Wyrley Branch once linked with coal workings and the Essington Branch, it is 533ft above sea level and the highest point reached on the BCN (Birmingham Canal Navigations), it was never successful due to water supply problems.
Next up was Birchills Junction where we turned left to continue on the Wryley and Essington, straight ahead is the Walsall Canal. We continued through housing estates, with James having to clear the prop once, we couldn't get close to the edge so just drifted whilst he cleared the plastic bags and grey car boot storage bag off. Suddenly we were out in the countryside with fields and cows, such a contrast.
We moored up at Pelsall with only one other boat, which left the next day so we had day two to ourselves.
|View from the front|
Whilst James got on with some commission work for the pens I took Dudley for a walk long the dead straight Cannock Extension Canal which leads to Norton Canes and home of Norton Canes Boatbuilders. It was along here that Dudley was leaning too far to the water and toppled head first in, luckily he was wearing his harness and was on the lead so I could just haul him out. He didn't seem bothered by his first experience in the water he just kept shaking.
|Stood at the end of the Cannock Extension Canal|
|And where it stops|
Total 593.5 miles and 467 locks