Happy Canada Day –  1st July 2022

Picture almost says it all. Just the beaver and Mountie missing.

Life is complete.

We managed another two hours of cruising to finish in a suburb of Wolverhampton called Compton.

One of the locks we went through today boasted one of these distinctive circular weirs which is peculiar to this canal. They are fascinating to look at as well as beautiful.

We were meeting Lynne here as we had planned yesterday that we would go and visit a National Trust site called Wightwich Manor.

Lynne and John had some wonderful news for us in respect to Di’s glasses. The Shipley Inn had indeed found her glasses there and Lynne was going to pick them up prior to meeting us at the manor.

Wightwick was built by Theodore Mander, of the Mander family, who were successful 19th-century industrialists in the area (Mander Brothers), and his wife Flora, daughter of Henry Nicholas Paint, member of Parliament in Canada. It was designed by Edward Ould of Liverpool in two phases; the first was completed in 1887 and the house was extended with the Great Parlour wing in 1893.

In 1937 Geoffrey Mander, a radical Liberal MP and local paint manufacturer who had been left the timber-framed house by his father Theodore, persuaded the National Trust to accept a house that was just 50 years old.

Having given the house to the Trust, Geoffrey Mander and his second wife, Rosalie, became its live-in curators, opening the house to the public and adding to its contents. In particular they added a notable collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and their followers. Descendants of the family retain a private apartment in the manor.

The house has 17 acres of woodland and gardens.

It was nice to take in something that was different to the heaviness you experience when you visit castles and palaces. After a meander around the gardens, it was a farewell to Lynne and time for us to motor on down a few more locks.

We were having a bite to eat when Fraser realised that he had left his backpack in the back of Lynne’s car. A hurried phone call to Lynne who said she would drop it off on her way home from Doreen’s at the Mermaid pub where we can imbibe yet again at the bar!! So hence, we did not move any further along the canal this afternoon.

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