Branches East Vale News
East Vale Branch Guided Walks

The East Vale branch have had two guided walks over the Autumn/Winter both of which have been very well attended.

Brian addressing walkers on the rebuilt tail-bridge of Grove Common Lock.The first one in November was a walk along the Grove Lock flight out and back to Nevilles Lift Bridge. We started at Grove Common Lock with the tailbridge we rebuilt many years ago, along the towpath which we have been working on this year, pausing at Small Marsh Lock (now quite infilled) but I remember going down there on a school outing in the 60s (primary school before you ask!) and seeing the lock virtually; Cow Common bridge has been rebuilt by the landowners fairly recently as a fixed culvert; from there we walked along to Spirit Lock (just about discernable in the undergrowth from the path). At this point the canal re-appears and is extant along to Grove Bottom Lock including the remains of another lift bridge. Grove Bottom Lock is in a reasonable state although the cill has partly collapsed (as with all these old structures care should be exercised and you should not go very close to the sides for your own safety).

Brian explaining, standing on top of Neville's Farm Bridge & Culvert.After Grove Common Lock the canal is at full width for a while before disappearing through a field, at the end of which are the remains of Nevilles Lift Bridge. After this point the footpath moves away from the canal and there is therefore no public access.







Walkers heading off at the start, around the duck pond at Childrey village.The second walk was on the Wednesday after Christmas when 23 or was it 24 hardy souls did a circular walk starting and finishing at Childrey Village Green/Duckpond. This took in the site of Kings Lift bridge near East Challow, the path via West Challow and our site for a replacement bridge on the bridleway, and then across the fields to Childrey Wharf (looking very nice and nearly full) thence up the road and along Packhorse Lane, round the wood, across to the site of George's Green Farm Lift Bridge and up to Sparsholt where we paused for lunch and a drink at the Star (Thanks go to Phil and his team at the Star for a very warm welcome). From there in mid afternoon bright sunshine we walked the last mile back to Childrey.


A quick rest at Silver Lane Bridge, West Challow. Looking east along the canal.

It's quick march past the restored Childrey Wharf.

After lunch at the Star Inn, Sparsholt.

Watch this space for news of more walks in the Spring.

Brian Stovold - Jan 2012

Photos by John Minns