Ogley Locks - Locks 18 to 20
I know, I know - I said I was calling it a day at lock 18 but the lure of the Ogley flight called me on and with an hour to spare I took a walk across the field to follow this abandoned canal a little further into Lichfield.
Lock 18 is partially restored and beyond the line is in open countryside, initially filled with rubble but then it opens out and reveals a wide and dry saucer shaped canal bed leading ever closer to a modern housing development. At times the towpath side is edged with a blue brick wall, still standing proud 60 years after seeing its last boat.
Embankment above Lock 19
Then we came to Lock 19, or at least we came to its remains. The lock has been dug out to make way for a new road and the new restored line will branch off at this point to a new route taking it to the south of the modern Lichfield. But whilst the lock may have been removed, its elements remain is a heap beside the canal like a giant game of Jenga. Closer inspection revealed the unmistakable markings of canal masonry, including gate recesses and hinge joints.
Masonry from Lock 19
Then it was a case of foillowing the public open space, initially to a water pumping station and then the canal bears round to the left as it crosses the Chesterfield Road.
Site of Lock 19 and the Pumping Station
For us that was the end of the walk. The rain set in and after sheltering under a railway bridge we made a dash for it and home for tea. The section round Birmingham Road will have to wait.