The ‘cut’ or rather the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal runs about a quarter mile from where I live. I have fished in it, canoed on it, even swam in it, but most of all I have ridden my bike along it’s towpath. The best stretch, in my opinion, is the section from Wolverley to Swindon. Any off-road bike ride from ‘our’ house would almost certainly contain a section of the ‘cut’. Yet in all the years I have used, and enjoyed it I have never known much about it, until now. Thanks to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society for the following……
“The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was an early canal, being opened throughout for traffic in May 1772. Built by the great canal engineer James Brindley, it was part of his ‘Grand Cross’, a far-sighted scheme to link the ports of Hull, Liverpool and Bristol by connecting up the rivers Mersey, Trent and Severn.The total length of the canal from Stourport to Great Haywood, its junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal, is 46 miles. The canal climbs from the River Severn, following the valleys of the River Stour and then the Smestow Brook before reaching its summit level of 340 feet at Compton near Wolverhampton. Having Crossed the water-shed of Central England, the canal then follows the Penk and the Sow valleys on its way to Great Haywood and the Trent Valley.A vast variety of goods including coal, steel and carpets were carried along the canal in commercial carrying days. This declined rapidly after the Second World War and by the 1950s, traffic had more or less ceased and the British Transport Commission gave notice that they wished to close the canal completely.
However thanks to the efforts of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society, which was formed in 1959, the canal was saved and has now become one of the major leisure waterways of the country.”
They’ve certainly done a great job as this must be one of the best preserved, and maintained sections of ‘cut’ in the country.
Took my first real shower in three weeks yesterday, and it was great! See, I’m allowed to take my sling off now, and I have some new exercises to do. So progress is good.