Friday, 17 April 2009

Cannock Chase.

Cannock Chase 002

Time to dust of the trusty old bus passes with a trip to Hednesford, just a short 4 mile journey away. When we got on the bus we explained to the driver that we had no idea where to alight from the bus and he said “I’ll drop ya at gate”. Well this he did as he had passed the official bus stop by several hundred yards. A short walk up the hill and we were there.

The Cannock Chase museum is in the Corn store building of the old Valley Colliery where the pit pony provisions were stored. Down stairs is the main exhibit about the area, the mining, the personalities of the region and how the whole mine, canal, railway scenario transpired over the years. The upstairs gallery changes during the year and is at present a Spring Art exhibition by artists Eleanor and John Cathcart who have travelled extensively as some of their work was done while in New Zealand and Australia. All their work was for sale ranging from £40 for prints up to £180 for originals in watercolours, oils or acrylics. I could have been tempted by one or two.

In its last years before closure the Valley Colliery was used as a training centre for young miners about to set out on a career as a miner. A one stage there were plenty of mines around the district but most are now closed.

It’s a shame that it wasn’t a fine day because there is a 10 mile heritage trail from Cannock through Hednesford to Rugeley. We were over halfway along the trail but we could have done the section from Hednesford to Rugeley. As forecast though the heavens opened up after lunch and we had to wait a while before the rain eased and we could walk to the bus stop without getting soaked.

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