Posted 12th Apr 2018
In the latest of our Humans of the Waterway features, courtesy of the Canal & River Trust, we meet Michael & Patricia, of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal
"The canal is a big part of Alvechurch village I think. I came from London to live in the village when I was eleven and I've been here 62 years now. I remember how I used to fish the canal, and I still know places today where there are big carp.
When I think about the canal here in Alvechurch, it's nice to know that the navvies built all this, and then they built the railway, and then of course the motorway arrived. It's a place all about commuting. When I first came here it had steam trains and we could hear the banker trains on the Lickey incline - which is the steepest main-line railway incline in Britain.
I've sailed across the sea and love boats, but my wife Patricia is less keen on boating so we enjoy walking together. We do a lot of social walking. We've been walking the South West Coastal Path for the last 25 years - we've done about 450 out of the 600 miles. We used to do long sections but now we do little sections over a couple of weekends a year. Coastal scenery is wonderful, but I love this part of the world in North Worcestershire.
It's very beautiful and not over used and abused when you think that we’re only around 12 miles south of Birmingham here. Alvechurch is such a community, even the new marina behind us is being built by a local – he’s a farmer whose mum was a teacher in the village.
This morning we've walked a circular route from bridge 61, up the hill, then down the road and back along the towpath. We've got various different routes we do and we love it on days like this when the sun is shining."
Text and imagery courtesy of the Canal & River Trust