Lichfield Branch

Fradley Junction


Changes to February meeting and AGM - see below
Winter Newsletter - see Lichfield Lines page

Welcome to the Lichfield Branch webpages.

See below for forthcoming meetings and events, and how to contact us.
See left for reports on recent activities, news and other pages of 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, treasure hunts, garden parties, 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 at Rugeley several times a year to improve the canal environment, access and boating facilities
  • Arranges fund-raising events and makes donations to waterway restoration projects (totalling over £40,000 in the past 25 years)
  • Comments on all planning applications and development plans affecting the waterways in our area
  • Attends meetings with the 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 evening

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

Meetings & Events


Wednesday 15th February 2017 - "The Waterway Recovery Group".  An illustrated talk by Mike Palmer MBE, Chairman of WRG, about 50 years of volunteers restoring our waterways.  7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.  Please note the change of speaker; the talk on the Claverton Pumping Station will now follow the AGM on 15th March (see below).
If you can print off and display a Poster for this event in your area, please download a pdf file here.

Saturday & Sunday 18th and 19th February 2017 – Open Lock Weekend at Fradley Junction.  We will be having an information stand in the ‘Welcome Station’ and helping out at this CRT event, which includes visits down into the Junction Lock chamber, guided nature walks, sea shanty singers and family activities.  The Visitor Centre and Canalside café will also be open.  10am to 3pm.  If you can help us for a few hours on either day, please contact Denise Bending at or phone 01283 761971.  For more details see also

Friday 24th February 2017 – Volunteer Work Party in Rugeley.  Meet at 9.30 am for a 10.00 am start at Leathermill Lane Canal Bridge 66 (by Tesco) on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Rugeley, Staffordshire, WS15 2HN.  (Parking at Tesco is expected to be free for the day by arrangement).  We will be continuing the work started in December by: installing a handrail on the new steps we put in; clearance work on the paths and possible offside clearance; hedge maintenance; and litter picking.  As usual CRT will provide all the kit we need, but please wear heavy duty boots and old clothes that will not snag on brambles.  Lunch and hot drinks will be provided and no doubt our cake makers will oblige with more cake!  For further information, or for confirmation of the arrangements if the February weather looks likely to spoil the plans, please email our Workparty Coordinator Margaret Beardsmore at or ring 07581 794111.
If you can print off and display a Poster for this event in your area, please download a pdf file here.

(Note: Margaret would appreciate some help with applying for local grants to help with our volunteering activities.  It need not be too time consuming, mainly filling out a few forms for submission at the right times.  Grants of a few hundred or thousand pounds would make a big difference for our local volunteers.  Contact Margaret as above for more details.)

Tuesday 7th March 2017 - Walk at Middleton Lakes.  This is an easy 5 mile walk across farmland, through a country park, and along the towpath of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.  There are no stiles and the terrain is flat.  From the Dog & Doublet Inn we turn right out of the car park and leave the towpath at Bodymoor Heath Lane.  After a short road stretch we head across fields towards the Grade II listed Middleton Hall.  From there we pass through part of the RSPB reserve and re-join the canal at Fisher's Mill Bridge.  At Curdworth Bottom Lock we make a short detour around Canal Pool and Broomey Croft Pool before returning southwards along the towpath to our starting point, and a chance of refreshment at the pub.  Please bring binoculars as there will be several opportunities for birdwatching along the way.  Meet at 10:15 for a 10:30 start in the car park of The Dog & Doublet Inn, Dog Lane, Bodymoor Heath, Sutton Coldfield B76 9JD.  Contact Clive Walker on 07866 201873 or

Wednesday 15th March 2017 - Annual General Meeting, Social Evening and Talk on "The Claverton Pumping Station".  The AGM (see Agenda) will be followed by a short illustrated talk by George Eycott ('Bungle' of Waterway Recovery Group) about this iconic water powered pumping engine on the Kennet & Avon Canal, and a social evening with refreshments and an opportunity to show some members’ slides and films.  7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY.  Lichfield Branch members are invited to join the committee; contact the Chairman or any committee member for further information (see Committee page).  Please bring along some interesting waterway photos from the last year, or particularly historic ones, for our education or amusement; either as colour slides or digital images in jpeg format on memory stick or CD.  We can also show old film clips on DVD.  Contact Phil Sharpe to discuss technicalities on 01889 583330 or at .

Saturday/Sunday 1st/2nd April 2017 – BCN Clean-UpThe annual large work party to remove rubbish from the Birmingham Canal Navigations, organised jointly by IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group, the BCN Society, CRT and others.  This year it will be on the Wyrley & Essington Canal between Horseley Fields at Wolverhampton and Sneyd Junction at Bloxwich.  Wear old clothes, waterproof clothing and safety footwear and bring a lunch or book in with WRG.  For those needing accommodation you can book with WRG on this page.  Local volunteers can book in for the day by emailing Chris Morgan at .

Wednesday 19th April 2017 - “The Lost Canals of Tipton” an illustrated talk by Keith Hodgkins.  7.15 for 7.30 pm at Martin Heath Hall, Christchurch Lane (off Walsall Road), Lichfield, WS13 8AY

Tuesday 9th May 2017 – Walk round Pelsall and Little Wyrley.  This is an easy 5 mile walk across farmland, heathland and along the towpath.  The terrain is flat but there are five stiles and two fords as the footpath crosses a small brook in two places.  Heading west we walk at first parallel to the Wyrley and Essington Canal across Pelsall Common and the site of the 2016 IWA Festival of Water.  At Pelsall Works Bridge we turn northwards passing the remains of Fishley Church and cross over into Cadman's Lane heading towards Little Wyrley Hall.  Leaving the workings of Wyrley Grove colliery (the site of the region's worst mining disaster) behind us we join the Cannock Extension Canal at Pelsall Road Bridge.  We then return southwards back to the pub at York's Bridge for refreshment.  Good walking boots are essential, perhaps wellies if wet.  Meet at 10:15 am for a 10:30 start in the car park of The Finger Post pub, York's Bridge, Norton Road, Pelsall, WS3 5AU.  Contact Clive Walker on 07866 201873 or

Email Updates

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


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 and we usually have a raffle (raffle prize donations welcome).  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.