Rain and shine

Yesterday afternoon, I paid my first ever visit to Pelsall Canal Festival. Sadly, I arrived just before the heavens opened, but after 20 minutes of refuge in a marquee, the skies cleared and the whole event cheered up wonderfully. So sad the weather has been so poor for them today. I look forward to attending next year’s event, and hope that the poor weather didn’t dampen spirits too much.

After a sunny morning, I arrived just as the weather turned. I think I must be a curse. 2:01pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

After a brief refuge, the sun came back out, and people gradually emerged from hiding. 2:42pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

It's amazing how the character of an event is dictated by the weather. 2:44pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

There were a huge number of boats of various shapes and sizes on display. They stretched right up the Cannock Arm, too. 2:54pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

I liked the humour present on some craft. I was particularly struck by this monkey... 2:54pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

The cheese boat - a familiar sight around the canals of Staffordshire - was soon doing a roaring trade again. 3:17pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

All-in-all a great afternoon out, but the weather could have been better. Here's hoping for next year, and the Brownhills Canal Festival later this month. 3:22pm, Saturday, 11th June 2011.

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11 Responses to Rain and shine

  1. D.Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    super photos of a wonderful canal festival. Thank you for sharing this..You mention the Brownhills Canal Festival…when is this?
    best wishes
    David Evans

  2. stymaster says:


    I believe it’s not this coming weekend, but next- the 25th/26th. I’m not 100% on that though.

  3. Stymaster is quite right, it’s Sunday 26th.

    I will, of course, promote it here beforehand as I usually do.

    Best wishes


  4. D.Evans says:

    Hi Bob

    thanks ..to you and to Stymaster. I will try to be there..whatever the weather.

    Last year’s festival was captivating….the boats, the colourful artwork on the boats..the whole atmosphere was enjoyable.
    kind regards
    David Evans

  5. D.Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    images of horses pulling heavy coal-laden barges along the Curly Wurly canal many years ago come to mind whenever I see today’s brightly painted boats. At the Catshill Bridge the iron corners of the brick pillar were grooved by the friction of the ropes as the horses walked along.
    And the men who walked these horses or steered these barges led hard , painful and demanding working lives, in every weather condition.
    Do you know if anything remains of the stables along the canal, or has this part of our local history disappeared ? I think there is still an ice-breaker barge in the canal in the Black Country Museum , Perhaps today’s younger generations would learn more about their forefathers’ hardships by seeing how their lives and toils really looked.
    The only experience nowadays seems to ” leg” a barge through the tunnel in the Black Country Museum, or go through their “coal mine”.
    Thanks for the photos, Bob,
    yours sincerely
    David Evans

  6. Brenda Ward says:

    Hi David
    You ask about stables from “a time gone by” well if you go to the top of the Rushall Locks on the end of the Daw End Branch of the Wyrley & Essington Canal you will see a large canal house and alongside the club house of Longwood Boat Club. This small but useful building once housed canal boat horses. It was reputed to have been financed by two sisters who felt the horses needed cover after such hard work pulling boats up the locks. It was much used until horse boating ceased then in 1970 Longwood Boat Club was formed and adopted the building for their Club House. Work on the building commemnced in the early 70s and has been transformed over the years into the building seen today. We are very lucky to be housed in an old traditional canal building. We feel we have preserved a heritage piece.

  7. D.Evans says:

    HI Brenda
    thank you very, very much for this wonderful news. I am delighted to read this and congratulate the Longwood Boat Club for their success here.
    Is this near Longwood Lane, by the Peugeot Garage on the old airfield, by the way between Aldridge and Walsall, please?
    with kind regards

    David Evans

    I wonder if there are any other former stables along the canal ?
    I would imagine that the Traveller’s Rest pub , which once stood in the Walsall Road, Walsall Wood, had stables….in the 1920s and 1930s.

  8. J Radford says:

    Hi, David Evans, my Great Great Grandfather John Wesley, was a publican at the Travellers Rest from the early 1900’s and was there for may years. And yes he did have stables, my grandad used to muck them out and often said that the bargemen would give him an extra penny to put more straw in, so they could bed down with the horse!

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