Thursday, 2 December 2010

Off to Penkridge

Another cold but bright day and we're off to Penkridge on the bus. Ann and Charles with Molly and George and I with our Molly are going to the market and to call and say hello to Mags and Geoff on Seyella. They have very kindly invited us all to lunch with them.
Looking under the road bridge into Gailey Top Lock bridge hole and the towpath tunnel; the by wash comes in from the right in big rather loud 'gulps' and it's this constant movement of water ...
... that has kept the area where Moore2Life and Rock n Roll are moored mainly free from ice.
I set off a bit early to take some pictures of the area that is Gailey (click here for the history) the most famous of which is the roundabout - ask anyone who lives in this area (we've lived in this area several times over the years) and as soon as you say Gailey they will assume the roundabout which you turn off to get onto the M6 - unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of that!!
From a brochure picked up at the pottery studio I have discovered a little of the background of Gailey.  Apparently it is an ancient village first known as Gaye Leaye in the county of Staffordshire and as in medieval times the crossroads (now the roundabout) remains a busy junction where the ancient Watling Street (the A5) crosses the A449 a short distance from the Shropshire border.
For those who don't know the area Gailey is situated off junction 12 on the M6 and is about half way between Wolverhampton and Stafford.  The road on which you come out from the towpath goes down to the roundabout which is Gailey and this is a quick tour of that small area.
This nursery has been here a long time and is all about plants - it now has a farm shop which Ann and I visited  a few days ago - useful to know if you're stopping or mooring up here.  It sells lovely fresh veg, some frozen provisions, fresh milk, eggs, yoghurt and jams, marmalade etc., but unfortunately no fresh bread - though if I remember correctly you can buy bread from the garage shop.
and for days like we're experiencing now - rock salt!
This is the old school which is now a private residence - there are quite a few very nice house down this road but I certainly wouldn't hanker after living in one as the road is very busy and noisy with traffic accessing the motorway.
just off the roundabout (you may just be able to see it on the left) is Gailey Pottery - more about this in my next posting.
This is the only other retail establishment here and has been on this corner of the roundabout for as long as I can remember (going back at least 35 years). It sells vegetables and other provisions but I have to admit that although I've been in several times since we've been cruising I've never been tempted to buy anything. The bags of potatoes on the wall and the sack cart piled high with bags of carrots have certainly been there all night and must be frozen through!
Here come the troops - Ann, Charles, Molly and George with our Molly bringing up the rear.
The bus to Penkridge was 15 minutes late but arrived just before we decided to turn round a go back home! Once off the bus we met Rita and Scooby from NB Festina Lenta who had passed us a few days ago at Gailey and are now moored here for the duration of this cold snap (I do hope it is only a snap).  Although the market wasn't very busy we managed to spend some money - paint-brushes, sanding discs, disposable vinyl gloves for George's DIY days and gloves, leg warmers and bed socks for me!! and not forgetting Molly who was treated to some mini markies!
Shopping done we went up the hill through Penkridge and down onto the canal to Seyella and Mags and Geoff - it was lovely to meet them - great company and good food too!  Thank you so much for your warm hospitality and we hope that we can return the invitation the next time we meet.

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