Issue date: 5th December 2011
The latest in IWA Lichfield Branch's work parties on the Trent & Mersey Canal took place on Sunday 4th December. Volunteers continued the improvements to the canalside at Brindley Bank in Rugeley.
Led by Stuart Collins of British Waterways, the 12 volunteers turned amateur archaeologists uncovered more of the canal wharf and tramway and revealed one of the original 'bloody steps'.
Digging out some stubborn tree roots and a covering of soil revealed a length of the brick paved wharf with its 2 foot gauge tramway, once used to take coal to the boilerhouse of Brindley Bank pumping station. The spoil was used to backfill and level the ground behind the canal edge piling.
Another team removed dead trees and tackled undergrowth alongside the present steps, where a trial excavation uncovered one of the sandstone blocks from the original 'bloody steps'; a piece of local history rediscovered.
(Photos by Phil Sharpe)