Saturday, 15 August 2009

Explorer Day 5
Just a short run today from Anglesey to Pelsall Common for dinner at The Finger Post. Now we are on the Wyrley & Essington (the Curly Wyrly) which has a reputation for being shallow and full of weed. We did not encounter the weed today but perhaps that is to come tomorrow. as we approached York's Foundry Bridge we came across the old working boat Vienna. We last saw this craft moored by Cheddleton Flint Mill on the Caldon Canal two years ago. It was in a sorry state then despite having undergone an extensive restoration programme not long before. Thankfully it appears to be receiving appropriate attention again.

Just before this we passed under this bridge with the lovely cast iron sides.

At Pelsall Junction the Cannock Extension Canal joins the Curly Wyrley. This went right to the heart of the collieries; so much so that it was eventually closed due to uncontrollable subsidence. H was telling us last night that when he worked the boats around here they used to return with clinker to back-fill the banks on the Cannock Extension as they collapsed so frequently. Last time I navigated this canal was about 15 years ago - at 4am (but that is another story). There are stories that although some of the canal is very shallow there are places where it is 30ft deep due to the subsidence. It now is truncated by the A5 but there is an imaginative bench to sit on at the terminus. It really is not as uncomfortable as Margaret makes it appear.

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