Lichfield Branch

Fradley Junction



Further changes to meetings and activities programme - see below
Summer Newsletter – see Lichfield Lines page

See also the Lichfield Branch Facebook page for our latest news

Welcome to the Lichfield Branch webpages.

See below for forthcoming meetings and activities, and how to contact us.
And see other pages for reports of recent activities, news and information about the Branch.

Lichfield Branch -

  • Provides a forum for anyone with an interest in waterways to meet like-minded people
  • Covers an area from Stafford to Hinckley and from Walsall to Burton on Trent, including Cannock, Tamworth, Sutton Coldfield and Nuneaton, and centred on Lichfield
  • Meets in Lichfield on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.15 for 7.30 pm from September to April, generally for illustrated talks on waterway related subjects
  • Holds outdoor events over the summer such as barbecues, lock winds, visits and boat trips, and also arranges a Christmas meal
  • Organises weekday walks throughout the year, including a regular New Year's Day walk
  • Co-ordinates work parties on our adopted length at Rugeley several times a year to improve the canal environment, access and boating facilities
  • Work jointly with CRT on weekly Offside Vegetation Clearance work parties between October and March
  • Arranges fund-raising events and makes donations to waterway restoration projects (totalling over £45,000 in the past 30 years)
  • Comments on all planning applications and development plans affecting the waterways in our area
  • Attends meetings with Canal & River Trust and raises issues on behalf of our members
  • Produces a quarterly Branch newsletter 'Lichfield Lines'
  • Has an active committee which meets monthly on a midweek afternoon or evening

The Branch welcomes new volunteers to help with individual events or to join the committee.

Forthcoming Meetings & Activities


Wednesday 16th September 2020 – Annual General Meeting.  7.30 to 8.15 pm on Zoom. Postponed from 18 March due to Covid-19, this will now be a virtual meeting on Zoom.  Members can join in using a desktop computer, tablet or smart phone, and will be informed by email of the joining link in advance.  Please ensure that IWA has your current email address.  The formal proceedings should be short, leaving time for any questions you may have and a general discussion of matters of interest.  The officers’ reports were published in March and you can see the AGM Agenda and the Chairman's and Treasurer’s reports on the website.
(Please note that “Birmingham Lads and Friends” by Phil & Dot Clayton has been postponed until we can meet in person again.)

Covid-19 Note: Walks and Strolls.

Due to the new law on social activities from 14 September, restricting groups to 6 people, our walks and strolls (shorter walks) will now be for members only and pre-registration is needed to control numbers.  Walks will be divided into separate groups of 6 people setting off at different times.  Due to each group needing to have a leader, first aid and PPE equipment, it is likely that we will only have 2 groups, so a maximum of 12 people.  To join in you must therefore contact the walk leader well in advance and if numbers permit you will be sent the necessary Covid health notes and joining instructions.

Tuesday 6th October 2020 – “A Canalside Stroll at Handsacre”.  Another of our series of shorter walks, for those who just want a stroll and a natter, noggin or nosh !  Meet at 11.00 am for 11.10 and 11.15 starts in the car park of The Crown Inn at Handsacre (24 The Green, Handsacre, Rugeley WS15 4DT) for a 2 to 3 miles stroll along the canal and back, with the option of a drink back at the pub around 12.30.  Lunch is bring your own or use the adjacent local chippie, and will be eaten outdoors in the pub garden (or in your car if wet !).  If you would like to come please register with Margaret Beardsmore at email (or on 07581 794111).

Thursday 12th November 2020 - Brewood and the Shropshire Union Canal Walk.  We venture to the boundary of Lichfield Branch area for this walk.  It is an easy 5-mile amble across farmland, on footpaths, quiet country lanes and the towing path.  There are no stiles.  Leaving the centre of the award-winning town we proceed past the church and cross the canal at Hyde Mill Lane, where we join the Staffordshire Way heading southwards.  We first diagonally cross the long avenue to Chillington Hall before eventually turning east towards the hamlet of Park Lane.  Here we turn northwards, and soon re-join the avenue of Chillington Hall in some woods.  This Lower Avenue brings us down to the Shropshire Union Canal at an ornate bridge, and we then follow the towpath northwards, first in a deep cutting and later an embankment, back to our starting point in Brewood.  Meet at 10:15 for 10.25 and 10:30 am starts outside the Lion Hotel in the centre of the village at Marketplace, Brewood, Staffordshire, ST19 9BS.  There is adequate free parking in the side streets nearby.  If you would like to come please register with Clive Walker at email (or on 07866 201873).

Covid-19 Note: Public Meetings & other events.

Due to the likelihood of present restrictions on indoor meetings continuing until the end of the year, all our remaining planned indoor events in 2020 are now cancelled.  Unfortunately, this includes the planned Branch Christmas Lunch.  Hopefully, we may be able to re-arrange a Branch dinner sometime in 2021.

We will endeavour to arrange substitute Zoom meetings, webinars or alternative online activities on our traditional 3rd Wednesday public meeting dates in October and November.  The provisional arrangements for October are as follows.

Wednesday 21st October 2020 – “Canals and their Historic Conservation in the West Midlands”.  From 7.30 pm.   An illustrated talk by Kate Langley of the Canal & River Trust.  Kate explains that our historic waterways feature a unique collection of structures including lock-keepers’ cottages, aqueducts, bridges, sluices, culverts and reservoirs (to name a few). Many of these structures and bridges are statutorily protected through listing and scheduling and required precious conservation management. Kate, as heritage adviser to the Canal & River Trust, will speak about her work at the Trust and how they use historic maps, plans and images to help guide the conservation work at the Trust. Focusing on Birmingham and the Black Country area, a selection of historic deed plans will feature in the presentation along with many examples of recent conservation work undertaken by the Trust, including the restoration of the Roundhouse in Birmingham.
Note: It is expected that his talk will be a webinar (virtual meeting) on Zoom, lasting about an hour with opportunity for questions at the end.  Members can join in using a desktop computer, tablet or smart phone, and will be informed by email of the joining link in advance.  Please ensure that IWA has your current email address.

Covid-19 Note: 2021.

Our programme of activities in 2021 remains for now as below, but may be subject to cancellations or changes depending on Covid-19 regulations and advice nearer the time.

Wednesday 20th January 2021 – Members Variety Evening.  This will feature the waterways experiences, knowledge and interests of our members, with a variety of contributions lasting from 10 to 30 minutes interspersed with canal songs and clog dances. (More details nearer the time).
7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.

Wednesday 17th February 2021 – “New Lives from Old Boats”.  An illustrated talk by Chris Leah of the Wooden Canal Boat Society about the challenges of restoring and preserving historic wooden boats and finding new uses for them.  Putting them to work on behalf of the community provides opportunities for people to learn new skills, make new friends and do something useful and rewarding.
7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.

Wednesday 17th March 2021 – Annual General Meeting and Social Evening with quiz.
7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.

Wednesday 21st April 2021 – A talk on local canal history by John Parry.
7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.

Email Updates

If you would like to receive a monthly email with the latest details of our Branch meetings, walks, work parties and other acivities please ensure that IWA has your current email address by contacting our Membership Secretary at

NOTES (Subject to Covid-19 restrictions as above)

Meetings:  Our monthly meetings are held at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, Staffs. WS13 8AY.  For directions and a map see the Martin Heath Hall page.

All our meetings are open to the public.  There is no charge to attend but donations are requested to help cover expenses.  Refreshments are available in the interval.  We have a raffle (raffle prize donations welcome) amd our sales stand is often present with waterways books, guides and IWA clothing etc.  We aim to complete the meetings by 10 pm.

Walks:  Non-members are welcome on our walks, for which there is no charge, although a donation of about £1 per person is appreciated.

For other waterway meetings and events in the Lichfield Branch area organised by local canal societies and trusts see the Local Links page.

Contact Us

For further information contact us on email:

Or look at our Committee page to see who does what and contact the appropriate person direct.