Ellie the Dobermann
No railways or Chasewater this time, just about Ellie!
Out for our usual walk this morning before going to Chasewater and nearing the end – ‘squirrel alert!’ – Off goes Ellie through the trees, flat out as ever, but this time the branch that she clattered into was as hard as her leg.At first, it was difficult to believe that she hadn’t broken something, she wouldn’t put any weight on it at all. We got her home in a friend’s car and then it was off to the vet’s. After much pulling and twisting (if it had been broken, I’m sure it would have fallen off!) he didn’t think that anything was broken but decided on an x-ray, just in case. She hadn’t given as much as a whimper to tell where it hurt, and he could find no break on the x-ray so fingers crossed, a few quiet days and she should get back to normal.
We have to take her back in a couple of days for a check-up, at the moment she is heavily sedated and it is much too quiet in the house!
If anyone wants to know what she looks like on 4 legs, she is on a few of the photos on my posts ‘Brownhills Walk’ 1 & 2. I think there are some more on flickr.
I shall put an update on this blog in a couple of days.
Another stroll with the dawg, this time starting from Brownhills West Station – I had some leaflets to drop off so it made the decision easy.I decided to walk along the Midland Railway trackbed to start with – ‘our line’ from the other side of the M6 Toll. This first pic is taken from the bridge over the motorway.This bridge is where you first take the footpath along the trackbed, just over the motorway.Nice to know that the trackbed was put to some good use. This pic was taken a few hundred yards from the previous one – I bet this was better than playing at Wembley when the kids were young – their very own goal-posts!Talking about football, this was taken in between the A5 and the Chester Road and it is the pitch where Brownhills Scouts used to play – takes some believing!Back to the trackbed, this is taken facing from the Chester Road back towards the A5.There is still some brickwork left of the old Brownhills Midland Railway station in the undergrowth.Walking along the Wyrley and Essington canal now, the photo looks back from High Bridge bridge. I had taken a bit of a short cut, which didn’t do me any good. I’d crossed the Chester Road, meaning to go down the Norton Branch trackbed but found another footpath before I reached it and took that instead. Just a path through trees, nice pool half-way along (which the dog fell in!), otherwise muddy and boring.This photo was taken on the other side of the bridge and shows the area where the Norton Junction marshalling yard used to be. From here I crossed a field and made my way onto the LNWR Lichfield to Walsall trackbed, from which you can still make out the trackbed of the branch from Walsall Wood Colliery to the LNWR line. We have the train staff for this line in the Museum. This picture was taken by my good friend Godfrey Hucker and used with his permission (well, he would have given it if I’d asked him!!)From here I walked along the trackbed towards Brownhills.A lone signal post is all that’s left and a little further along, the trackbed gets much narrower. If you look closely at our Ellie you will see that she looks as though she has got grey wellies on. It was foul smelling clay-type mud – if the weather had got much warmer I would probably had to chip it off!
Back on to the Wyrley and Essington canal now, looking through the LNWR railway bridge to the Pelsall Road bridge beyond.I came off the canal in Brownhills at the new bridge and walked across the parade towards Chasewater. I took this photo to illustrate my point from the first walk, about the lack of light and grass under the trees – it uses to be just grass and very pleasant.Back to the entrance to Chasewater Country Park and a chance for Ellie to have a paddle to get rid of the mud – not to mention a well-earned drink!Nearly back at the railway, and as you can see, the mud has been washed off and she has company – she ignored them to start with but had to say a quick ‘hello’ eventually. They were completely unimpressed and it was their turn to ignore her!!
Posted in Brownhills
Tagged Brownhills, Canal, Cannock, Chasewater, Dobermann, Events, Lichfield, LNWR, Midland Railway, Norton Branch, Norton Canes, Railway, Walsall Wood, Wyrley & Essington
Although I left Brownhills in 1960, I still think of it as my home town (despite having lived in Hednesford for some 44 years!), and since I finished work about 11 years ago, I’ve tried to have a walk around at least once a year. This has slipped a bit in the last two or three years but today I made it – complete with camera.I parked at Chasewater, by the Innovation Centre, instead of at the Railway – makes a change – and my trusty hound and myself went back over the bridge and turned left on to the public footpath by the old trotting track.The picture shows what’s left of the back straight. We went over to cross the A5 by the White Horse, and then on to the common.This pic shows the common not far off the A5. When we were kids, this area was long, tufty grass with lots of small pools in and around – almost impossible to walk across – so a great deal of work has been done to get the ground up to this standard.This is where the Brownhills St. James football team first started playing. This is somewhere else where a lot of work has been done. We never had a surface to play on anything like this – talk about jealous!! Passing through the gate and into the park we came to another pitch we used to play on.In fact, we were the first team to use it, the land the pitch is on was also reclaimed from long, tufty grass – you’d never believe it now. The only used to be a triangular path round the park leading from the entrance to some swings near the far gate, then across and along the fence by the cricket pitch to the ride called the ‘Boat’, then back to the entrance and the ‘Giant Stride’ and the ‘Witches Hat’.
On and out of the park and onto the Parade – an area that I don’t think too much of!Again, when we were kids, we used to have a kick-about along this area. If I remember correctly, there was a well spaced row of trees on either side of the parade but the grass area was just that – open grass. Now there doesn’t seem to be any light along there, the grass struggles to grow and when the leaves fall it becomes something of a mess (just my opinion but I much preferred the open space).Through Brownhills next, past the ‘Miner’ down the High Street and up Church Hill. Through the Church Yard and down Vicarage Road to Ogley Road. Turned left and went towards Newtown Bridge, getting on the canal side to walk back to Chasewater (I’ve got used to the name now, but when thinking back to Sunday afternoons of our youth, we still went for a walk ‘over the pool’ – a reference to the old name of ‘Norton Pool’).Walking along the tow-path, it’s nice to see that some of the residents on the far bank have made a very neat job of running their gardens down to the canal-side.Just putting my railway head on for a while, on the other side of this bridge, the railway and canal came together. It seems a shame that they both couldn’t have passed under the M6 Toll together, too. That bridge looks very wide just for a canal!That’s the direction the railway used to take. A level crossing across the road and on to Anglesey Sidings. The next picture faces the other direction.The track used to be here and a building which housed the old stables from way back. There’s plenty of room for a small station building and a run around loop, if only we could get there!The old track bed is still there for a lot of the way, but as you can see in top right of this photo, the road runs on some of it before running down to the island at the access to the M6 Toll. Shame. Not far to go to Chasewater now, so back along the canal. passing what is left of the loading gantry and the overflow from Chasewater.If the canal also gets full to overflowing, the water can run through the grating at the front of the picture and on to the low lying ground behind. Towards the basin and the start of the canal – where the water comes in from the reservoir.It would be nice to think that, sometime in the future, if the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust succeed in reopening the canal as far as Lichfield, and we at Chasewater Railway, should succeed in reaching the wharf, the basin would again be a hive of activity, this time for tourists. Well, we can but dream!