The Inland Waterways Association National Rally, aka the Festival of Water, was at Pelsall Junction this year. Although we decided late to book in we were happy to include this festival in our itinery. We have only navigated the Wyrley and Essington canal once before and that was from Walsall Junction to Wlverhamptin. This year by attending the festival we would do the whole length aside from the Anglesea Branch. We were looking forward to it.
Wednesday 23rd August 2023, Crew: Eeyore, the Best mate and Suepercrew. Tividale to Wolverhampton
We drove to Tividale Quays and embarked on Sonflower amongst several anglers. Local residents helped me to choose a place to park the car, in a quiet cul-de-sec on a nice development near the bus stop. You can tell it was a nice development by the proliferation on Audis, Mercs and BMW SUVs on the drives.
Back on board we set off for an overnight mooring. All that delayed us was the amount of weed. There are plenty of water lilies alongside the channel but more than that there was also floating weed and at times carpets of water fern or blanket weed. The inevitable BCN polythene burden gets mixed up in the weed and can soon clog the blades. The regular stop-reverse-glide procedure is ok most of the time but we had to use the weed hatch twive on our way to Wolverhampton. We moored on the secure mooring opposite the Broad Street Basin Boaters Facilities. This mooring is not accessible from the road adjacent without the use of a long ladder, whihc we did not have. We ate on board.
7miles, 0 locks, 4 hours
Thursday 24th August 2023 Broad Street, Basin Wolverhampton to Pelsall Junction
We set off straight into the Broad Street Basin to use the facilities. We took on water but were unable to dispose of rubbish because the bins have been removed. According to CRT Customer Services the land was sold and the bins had to be removed. Alternatives have not been provided. We noted that the shower has been removed too but us still shown oin the sign. Ther was no evident elsan disposal point either but we nay just have missed this.
Having got under way again and turning onto the Wyrley and Essington Canal at Horseley Fields junction the complete change of nature of this canalk is evident. Ther is no evidence of industry any more. The bridges of Birmongham wer cast at the Horsely Iron Works. Ther is no evidence of its existence any more.
Weed soon became a problem. Reed beds have been allwed to establish themselves and in some places they have encroached form both banks to reduce the width of the canal to a single boiat width. Water Fern is almost everywhere and floating penny wort was noted.
Floating Penny wort (above)
So we visited the weed hatch regularly and made our way along the winding canal to the Sneyd Wharf Services. Here we found a skip for our rubbish and used the toilet facilities. We moved off the wharf to the adjacent mooring and had lunch.
The afternoon was uneventful. We were amazed how quiet the canal was. We only saw two other moving boats all day. One was in the Broad Street Services basin and the other at Sneyd while we lunched.
We arrived at Pelsall Junction to find the harbour master gesticulating and directing boats to moorings. He poiinted out that we had already passed ours! However another boat had already passed hisin the opposite dorection and the harbourmaster felt it expedient just to swap our moorings. Hence we got to moor on the outside of our good friends on nb Spring Water. They are part of our cruising club.We were not far from two other boats in our group. We soon got chatting and comparing the number of times each of us had had to open the weed hatch on our voyage to here.
13.1/2 miles 0 locks 8 hours