Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Walking the Waterways (19) : Leeds & Liverpool

The Leeds & Liverpool Canal stretches across the Pennines (as the name suggests) linking the two great Northern cities. Work began on the canal in 1770 with the aim of linking Yorkshire industrial towns like Leeds and Bradford with a port in the West. The first part of the canal opened in 1773 but work continued for nearly fifty years until the full two hundred kilometre route was open. The canal ran from the centre of Leeds to Liverpool via places like Wigan, Shipley, Keighley and Burnley.

Coal was the most important cargo carried on the canal, from mines inland to Liverpool. Coal continued to be carried on the canal as late as 1972 with other cargoes continuing until the early 1980s. The canal is used for leisure these days of course. A new link to Liverpool's docks was opened in 2009 allowing boats to go as far as the Albert Dock in Liverpool.

Monday, 21 January 2019

The Birches Green Light Railway

I have maintained a blog for my model railway, which is known as Birches Green (even though it is supposed to depict somewhere in Austria) but have decided to stop updating the blog as the volume of posts is too low. Instead I will post a weekly update here. The old BGLR blog will remain available though if you want some background.

The latest big news is the arrival of a new locomotive, 2095 which we have named Maggie. It is a lovely model and a very smooth runner already. The layout flagship loco D16 Falcon has made way for Maggie as the layout is too small to have all of the locomotives on it at once. As per the rotation policy Falcon will be back in around eight months.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Claverdon for the first time again

I visited Claverdon in Warwickshire today. It was the first time to travel there by train and visit the village though last Summer I did briefly visit the station when I was on my way to my friend's wedding in Ettington. That time was just a brief flavour of the place though, today was the first proper visit. Claverdon is a nice little village, though would be even nicer if it wasn't cold and drizzly!

I took some photos of the church and some other old buildings in the village as well as the station. Plus a couple of interesting road signs, I wonder how Wheelbarrow Lane got it's name? You can see my photos here.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Walking the Waterways (18) : Birmingham & Fazeley

The Birmingham & Fazeley Canal stretches from Fazeley in Tamworth (where it connects to the Coventry Canal) to the centre of Birmingham and the rest of the Birmingham Canal Navigations. It was an important link in the canal network in the Midlands giving coal mines and manufacturers in Birmingham and Walsall access to London via the Coventry and Oxford Canals.

Work on the canal began in 1786 after several years of legal wrangling by rival canal schemes and changing of plans. The canal was fully opened in 1790 and was an immediate success, too much of a success in fact as soon there were barge bottlenecks at the lock flights in Aston and Central Birmingham!

The canal passes through a variety of landscape, from the fields of Curdworth and Bodymoor Heath to the urban landscape in Birmingham. The latter winds through the Snow Hill area of the city before terminating near Broad Street but from there the rest of the Birmingham Canal Navigations is your oyster.
Bodymoor Heath


Through the city centre

In central Birmingham

In Erdington, very near to where i live!