Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Hatherton Junction

Hilary came to join me for Saturday evening and we enjoyed a meal out in the well-deck for the first time this year, although it was getting a bit chilly by the end. She'd been working all day and we were both tired so opted for an early night, falling asleep to the boom-boom-boom of the "music" coming from the nearby pub - or was it the sound of "Ing-er-land" fans inside beating their heads against the wall?
Hatherton Junction is where the Hatherton branch of the Staffs & Worcester left the main line. It originally connected with the Wyrley & Essington and formed a through route to the Coventry Canal across the northern reaches of the BCN (Birmingham Canal Navigations). It may do again, one day, if the Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Trust has its way, although much of the original route has been lost and a new alignment will have to be found in places. Actually, the first stretch of the branch, including two locks, is in working order and gives access to some private moorings. Visiting boats, however, are discouraged so we didn't venture that way. I remember arriving here in the 1970s by boat and thinking that we had really discovered something to find that the branch still existed and the first two locks at least were still usable. Eventually we were unceremoniously escorted off the premises by the marina owner so this time I confined my explorations to the public roads!
The distinctive bridge on the main line at Hatherton Junction

The start of the branch

Private moorings on the Hatherton Branch
The first bridge over the branch has its own post box! Presumably it wasn't originally provided for the working boaters though, as they were nearly all illiterate.
And, Cap'n, I did look out for Wand'ring Bark but nary a sign could I see. 

After leaving Hatherton Jc we continued to Penkridge, but as I don't have a computer aboard Starcross I won't be able to tell you about the rest of the trip to Braunston its over, sometime next week.


Adam said...

Hi Jim, In know that defeating the rail pricing system is a speciality of yours, so here's a challenge for you. During our trip on Debdale in September, Adrian will have to go to London for a board meeting. Nantwich looks like a good place to get a train to London, with a change at Crewe. He'll have to be in London fairly early, and will be heading back in late afternoon or early evening. A return fare is being quoted as £201.00!! Two singles are a bit cheaper (£55.50 to go on the 7.16, plus £31.00 to come back on the 1810). Do you have any suggestions, or does the fact that it's a journey to London mean that it will always cost a lot?

Starcross said...

Leave it with me, although to and from London is a difficult one to get the better of. Still, I'll have a go!

Starcross said...

The single fares you are quoting are "advance" fares, already offering a huge discount over the "walk-up" fare, but I can still beat them! You should buy seperate tickets Crewe-London and Nantwich - Crewe. An advance single to London on the 07.57 from Crewe is £41 and a single back on the 18.10 is £29. To these, just add a day return from Nantwich to Crewe (get it on the train) at £2.40 to make a total of £72.40 as against your quoted £86.50! I don't think that's a bad price for a peak-hour journey to and from London. Make sure you book early to get these fares though.

Adam said...

Thanks Jim, I knew you were the man for the job! It's worth knowing that Crewe is so much cheaper than Nantwich. We've also realised that Sunday evening fares are much much less, so I think Adrian will go down on the Sunday night and stay in a cheap hotel (which also means there's less chance of being late for the meeting). By the time he comes back on Monday evening, I'm hoping to have made it to Middlewich, so he'll have to get a taxi from Crewe anyway.

Starcross said...

If the timings work out right Adrian could get a train from Crewe to Sandbach (one station towards Manchester) and a 37E bus from there to Middlewich!