Stephen’s Strolls: Old Wednesbury Canal and the Ridgacre Branch

Bank Holiday here in England, so i have a day off. I asked for suggestions on where to go, and @darklys suggested Old Wednesbury Canal and Ridgacre Branch canal.

So I’m currently stood at Coventry railway station, and my train is due in a few minutes…

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On the train now; change at New Street for the local line to the nearest station for my needs. I think that’s Smethwick and Galton Bridge.

Anyway, here’s some info about the canals; I’m only going to be exploring the navigable parts and any of the older parts that i can easily reach and walk along.

Time permitting, I’ll have a stroll along the Walsall Canal too… there’s quite the length of locks there!

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If you want to follow my progress, I’ll be posting my location using www.what3words.com.

If you want to suggest my next walk (hopefully 2 weeks time, post a point on a West Midlands canal and a direction, and I’ll do my best to do it! Here’s where you can post your suggestions.

Saturday’s art trail and today’s walk came from there!

On the train to Sandwell and Dudley (not Smethwick and Galton Bridge; glad i checked!)

Once there it will be a little bit of a stroll to the canal, but hopefully it won’t take long.

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///paid.budget.frogs

Canals, here we come!

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///useful.alert.chill

There it is! Well, the Birmingham Mainline anyway. Think I’ll take the left towpath.

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///darker.mice.joins

It’s overcast, but otherwise a very pleasant day.a few other Towpath Treaders about, plus the occasional cyclist. Not seen any boats as yet.

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///nail.stream.cheeks

That’s Pudding Green Junction Bridge up ahead on the right; it marks the start of the branch canals we’re heading for.

Have to head for the bridge on the right though, to get there. I could have avoided this had i walked on the other towpath, but that was a bit too muddy for my liking!

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///wisely.grades.second

Crossing Albion Bridge

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///bottle.heads.this

Now on Pudding Green Junction Bridge, looking towards Walsall Canal and the direction of our destination canals!

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///study.soak.cove

That’s not the sort of bridge you see every day…

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///leaps.flops.artist

Time to switch sides…

///guides.boots.reach

Once again we get quite the contrast. The canal is so peaceful, but in the distance i can hear the faint booming and thrumming of machinery.

Urban canals truly are the countryside oasis of calm in the middle if one if the busiest industrial conurbations in the country.

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///called.lowest.filer

Not all industry survived the Industrial Revolution era. Here and there you can see the old and forgotten remains of buildings, slowly being reclaimed by nature.

And possibly ironically, some of that nature are the flowers known as forget-me-nots.

Well it might be Speedwell, but I’m no botanist, and speedwell is not as poetic…

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///aura.truth.laser

Nothing much to say here, i quite liked the view!

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///churn.full.scarf

Straight ahead, the continuation of Walsall Canal, and the start of the series of locks. To the right, where we are headed is Old Wednesbury Canal!

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///depend.cares.teach

That used to be a bridge, but i don’t think I’ll use that.

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///heap.just.salon

I think I’ll use the lock gate instead…

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///moved.plates.oval

…and so we begin.

Although I’m unsure how far along here the towpath goes. I guess we’ll find out soon enough!

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///year.donor.odds

Once i got past that first bit it opened up a bit, so i think we should be fine…

…provided the Goose Guards let me past!

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