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Monday, 31 August 2015

Guess what it a bank holiday and its raining

Absolutely tipping down with rain this morning, we wouldn't normally travel in this kind of weather but we need to get to the new marina sooner than later, so wet gear on and off we set.
And soon we are at the village of Polesworth a busy town that was once built around the coal industry, and now is a great stop for provisions, but we don't stop and  pass Pooley Hall which was once home to Edwin Starr before his death, a singer of the seventies with great disco hits like War and  Eye to eye contact, then next  we head toward the M42 motorway  bridge.
We then pass Alvecote marina who are holding a festival of old working canal boats but aren't very lucky this year with the weather,

 suburban housing of Tamworth now meet the the canals edge and we have 2 locks to negotiate before stopping at Fazely junction where one could turn towards Birmingham for water, but we carry on Northwards and then stop at the village of Hopwas for our overnight mooring.
A bit of a strange tale where the local paper reported a sighting off Bigfoot in the woods near here 
The woods dates back officially to the 11th Century and the Domesday Book, and further back still, with many historical tales emerging from within.

Fascinating tales of witchcraft and occult activities have persisted for many years, especially after the arrest of 16 people who were taking part in a naked occult ceremony in 1984.

They were members of a secret group called the Silver Star Society, and the arrests led to fines totalling £2,000 for cannabis possession.

More recent headlines appeared in the Herald after a mysterious copper plate with magical symbols was discovered by paranormal investigators. Shortly afterwards an Egyptian figurine was also found buried in the woods by Tamworth man Andrew Lee.

The woods have also been the source of other colourful tales including sightings of big black cats and even reports of a ‘large sandy-coloured animal’, feared to be a lioness.

Ghosts have also been reported there, with one report of a small orange light appearing there before falling to the ground.

Further back there was a ‘great fire’ in the woods in 1976, and controversy in 1986 after plans were revealed to lease part of the woods for “war games” activities.

In 1999 the Army were called out to help round up nine Limousin cattle which had escaped from a farm in Hints and taken refuge in Hopwas Woods. Four were shot dead, but after a public outcry the remaining five were caught and taken to an animal sanctuary.

The woods were also the location of the Woodhouse, which dated back to the 1640s and the time of Oliver Cromwell, and was the only house in the now defunct parish of Hopwas Hayes.

The house had been home to many people over the years, including George Bryan, founder of Drayton Manor. It was demolished in 2010 after being declared a health and safety risk.

The Woodhouse also hit Herald headlines in 2003 when armed police swooped, after reports of a pool of blood, a severed finger and a gun toting man in Hopwas Woods. What they actually found was a tea bag, a rolled piece of bacon and a man with a walking stick.

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