After lunch Keith and I thought we would go for a wander, even though the weather was not set fair, so rain coats were needed. We took a bag of rubbish with us to get rid of at the refuse point and started walking down the locks. In the bottom lock was John Jackson on his working boat Roach, John was taking Roach to have some welding done on a small hole which had appeared in the hull. It was nice to see John again and to have a chat.
Chatting over we walked up to the old Bratch Pumping Station.
It is a fine piece of Victorian Architecture which close up looks stunning. It was built in 1895. The pumping station tower was built with ornate brickwork and extravagant pinnacles. It is visible from the canal through the trees. Sadly the Pumping Station closed in 2009 due to Health and Safety. I do not know anything else other than that, so if someone could update me I would appreciate it. I really feel sorry for all of those people who worked so hard to re-open the Pumping Station. I sincerely hope that it will open again very soon.
After leaving the Pumping Station, we walked along the road and found a sign saying Railway Cafe, so we thought we would see where it went. The Cafe is housed in the old Bratch Railway Station on the old Wolverhampton to Stourbridge Great Western Railway branch line which opened in 1925 and closed in 1966. The line closed to passengers in 1932 but continued for goods traffic.
Keith went into the Cafe to see if they had any information on the walk, but unfortunately they had nothing which was a little surprising, because it is mainly walkers who use the cafe. After strolling up part of the railway we headed back to the locks and the boat for a much needed ice cream.
Bratch Locks are very picturesque even on a wet day.