BCN Explorer Cruise – Pelsall & Walsall

When we left Longwood Boat Club, on Tuesday morning, the weather had begun to deteriorate a bit but we were lucky for most of the day. It was a bit misty but it didn’t actually rain as we turned onto the Anglesey Branch from the Daw End Canal and moored up to take a look at Anglesey Basin and the Chasewater Reservoir.

Anglesea BasinChasewater Reservoir

We didn’t have a great deal of time but we’d very much like to try to make it back here to take a walk round the reservoir. The moorings are incredibly peaceful with some lovely woodland. On our walk back to the boat from the reservoir we spotted this fellow who wasn’t at all shy and posed for photographs.

Deer

The bottom of the Anglesey Branch marks the junction between the Daw End and Wyrley and Essington (commonly known as the Curly Wyrley on account as it’s a very bendy canal). As with much of this area on the BCN the canal has a rural feel. Signs of the original busy industrial heritage, that the canals were built to service, are never very far away. Fenced off flattened areas that once housed factories and coal mines provide a constant reminder of the past.

We moored for the night at Pelsall Common but, unfortunately, the rain had well and truly set in by then and I didn’t take any photographs of what was a very pleasant mooring. There was a small settlement of travellers on the common but they didn’t bother us and we didn’t bother them. We popped into the Finger Post pub hoping to get an evening meal but were out of luck as the chef had gone home ill. Shame.

Our next destination was the basin in the centre of Walsall town. It wasn’t a long cruise and we got down the locks and moored up in the basin before lunch.

WalsallTopLock

We went to the Black Country Arms for lunch in the middle of town. It has 15 real ales and a pretty good menu. I had my first try of the Black Country specialty Grey peas (pronounced peys) and bacon. Very good it was too!

After lunch Ellie visited the Art Gallery and managed to persuade someone to take her up to the top of the building to a floor that is normally out of bounds so that she could take this wonderful photograph of some of the boats in the basin. It’s not often you see your boat from this angle.

WalsallBasinFromAbove

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