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Staffs & Worcester Canal - Part 1

Part 1 covers the Staffs and Worcester canal between Autherley Junction, Wolverhampton in the West Midlands to Haywood Junction, Great Haywood in Staffordshire.

Autherley JunctionAutherley Junction is the home of ‘Water Travel’ narrowboat hire and to say you are in Wolverhampton, this is quite a pleasant ‘green’ area. The junction is where the Shropshire Union Canal starts and heads off north west. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal arrives from the south west and goes north east. Passing through a short section of urban and semi industrial and warehousing areas of northern Wolverhampton you go through a narrow rock cutting at Fordhouses with a couple of passing places and soon pass under the noisy M54 - picking up the contours of the land (as Brindley did) weaving your way through Coven Heath and the private Coven Cruising Club. Under the Stafford Road A449 and out into open countryside. Eventually crossing an aqueduct before meeting The Hatherton Canal (under renovation) that branches off towards Cannock at Hatherton Junction by the entrance to the Hatherton Marina at Calf Heath. Hatherton JunctionThe Hatherton Canal was the link to the coal mines at Cannock . Opened in 1841 and closed due to subsidence in 1955. Now under renovation by the Lichfield and Hatherton Restoration Trust. Less than a mile away are the Gravelly Way chemical works at Four Ashes. Half a mile more and you are at the Gailey Lock and under the A5, the old Roman Road , ‘ Watling Street ’ at Gailey before the A5 is the base for Viking Afloat narrowboat hire. At Gailey Lock is the famous ‘Round House’, once the lock keepers residence is now a canal side shop – selling everything from canalia to bread.

Gailey Boatyear

About 800meters west along Watling Street is the ‘village’ of Gailey where the church has been ‘recycled’ to become a pottery of note.

 

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