- Bus 70 at Cannock -
There was not even the slightest sniff of any cob penalties as all members arrived present and correct well in advance of the 0745 start. The number 70 bus provides our Cannock connection with Chairman D9 having palpitations when passing the old Pear Tree trolleybus terminus and reading heart-stopping articles about the Gun Barrels courtesy of Out Inn Brum.
- The Pye Green D9 driving demo -
After the requisite breakfast courtesy of the Linford Arms (Cannock's contribution to the Wetherspoon's empire), we set out in search of mining heritage on the 25 circular service. True to form the Chairman can't resist a bit of driving as we trundle up the Pye Green Road towards the Festival Stadium where we investigate the remains of the former athletics ground.
- Bald Spot at West Cannock -
Continuing around onto Bradbury Lane, we spot the derelict site of the West Cannock Sports Club & Social Centre which we believe was linked to the old West Cannock collieries. In all the excitement the bald spot made an appearance although it hadn't yet turned red through sun exposure.
- No Brown Shelters Anymore! -
A further ride on the 25 brings us into Hednesford where a new Tesco superstore complex occupies the site of the town's former bus station. Somehow we can't help feeling nostalgic for the old 1970's style brown shelters that have been consigned to history. The new interchange just seemed dull but it does the job for linking onto our next route.
- Closet by the Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre -
To Rugeley then and a ride on the 31, breezing up through Cannock Chase and passing where the Pear Tree pub once stood (there's a Co-op there now instead). The Chairman has a crafty sleeve item in mind and thus leads us to the Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre, outside of which is a vintage closet that duly gets the Hub Marketing treatment.
- Charles Rowbotham-Pemberton III adjudicates -
Our initial stay in Rugeley is short as we have business in Handsacre to attend to. The Olde Peculiar (a Theakston's pub in Staffordshire) and the Crown (on the side of the Trent & Mersey Canal) are both worth a visit, although the Secretary's insistence on keeping his plans under lock and key mean that Charles Rowbotham-Pemberton III has to be exhumed for an official secrets ruling from the lawbook.
- The home of Armitage Shanks -
If the Chairman summoned up a closet sleeve earlier, the Secretary has something altogether larger on his radar. A sun-kissed stroll along the Trent & Mersey brings us to Old Road, Armitage where we discover the headquarters of Armitage Shanks, manufacturers of the bathroom fittings and sanitaryware that our esteemed Chairman is such a huge fan of.
- Power Station Chimneys -
With Ralph the pit bull for company, we catch the 825 back towards Brereton where we seek refreshment courtesy of the Castle, a 1980's brick box of a Banks's boozer. There is no escaping the looming presence of Rugeley Power Station around here as the large cooling towers are visible across the local housing estates.
- Did the Secretary get the Discount of the Day? -
The Chairman wanted to get more up close and personal with the power station so the Secretary eventually navigated the way down to Armitage Road (with a few obligatory dead-end turns for good measure). Once the towers had been tackled we rejoined the canal towpath down to the Mossley Tavern where the Theakston's tarmac secured the Secretary some overdue discount honours.
- Foghorn Leghorn -
Into Rugeley Town Centre where the Secretary's sleeve rustled up the Red Lion, an old-fashioned pub on Market Street where we just so happened to meet Foghorn Leghorn (who else!) in the parlour trophy room.
- Hednesford Miners Memorial -
Bidding Rugeley goodbye, we hop aboard the return 31 to Hednesford, making smooth progress through Brindley Heath to alight by the Tesco. Our town centre stroll then incorporates Market Street where an eyecatching feature outside the local library is a davy lamp memorial that also comprises a wall of commemorative named bricks.
- Something we 'Stumbled' across in Bridgtown -
There are just a few final matters to take care of before heading homewards. The Cross Keys is a Hednesford inn of some renown with links to the local football club, whilst Bridgtown sees an attempt at madcap sprinting as we try to squeeze in closing halves at the Crystal Fountain, Stumble Inn and the Castle. All that remains is the 70 back to Wolverhampton and we can consider Handsacre and Hednesford well and truly hubbed!