Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alvercote Pools and Pooley Field

We are now travelling on the Coventry canal. 36 miles from Fradley in the north to Coventry in the south. It is half term and many boats are still 'out and about' this late in the season. So we decided to rush through Tamworth. In the event there was no problems, passing many colourful canalside gardens. Eventually stopping at Pooley Fields past Alvecote marina. Alvecote Pools and Pooley Fields contain many lakes surrounded by trees and laid out with paths to walk round.
Back in the 1960's Alvercote and Pooley collieries were very busy digging out tons of coal every day from below the surface. The only evidence of the mining activity are the pools and lakes caused by subsidence. There is a Heritage Centre built by one of the 'pit heads' by the canal. There are some new moorings near the centre from where you can walk up to it. Worth a visit for it houses a mining museum upstairs.
"The shafts of Alvecote Colliery, which was first mined in 1848, were relatively shallow and beset with problems of water seepage from the river Anker. Mining stopped in 1965 when it became uneconomical to keep pumping the water out." Both Alvecote and Pooley Collieries were built near the canal so that boats could transport the coal to Birmingham.
After our visit we moved up two locks of the Atherstone flight of locks. The resident Lock keeper keeps the bushes and grass cut so it all looks neat and tidy. So we stopped here for the weekend, not normally recommended because the water level goes up and down as boats go through the locks.

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