- Moatbrook Lane -
Saturday 8th April brings with it stunning sunshine as Mr Beardsmore and I board the 5A bound for Codsall (the route serves Birches Bridge shops whereas the plain 5 covers more of Bilbrook). Our stroll begins at Bakers Way terminus, setting forth along Wood Road but detouring via Moatbrook Lane for a quieter sense of cottages, millennium nature reserves and hedgerow-lined sharp bends.
- Codsall Wood welcomes us -
Rejoining Wood Road we make sure to dodge any oncoming traffic in passing the entrances to Wheatstone Park and Pendrell Hall (the latter was formerly an adult education college but now markets itself as a wedding venue). The centre of Codsall Wood is just a little further and is mainly residential these days - the local post office closed a few years ago with the Cross Guns pub also passing into the annals of history, sadly demolished to make way for housing.
- Chillington Hall Lodge -
All is not lost though as some photographic pickings remain. The junction with Whitehouse Lane allows for shots of one entrance into the Chillington Hall estate - the accompanying lodge holds a few memories for Mr B as he remembers waiting outside the gates for Sunday morning access to the Hall's fishing pools. The Cross Guns might have gone but the Crown is still trading, albeit renamed the Pendrell Arms since coming under community ownership. We slake our thirst with a relaxed pint, mine being Holden's Black Country Mild whereas Stephen opts for his customarily purple dose of blackcurrant and lemonade.
- St Nicholas Church, Codsall -
Suitably re-energised we commence the climb back through to Codsall, following the old footpath which connects the little church in Codsall Wood (St Peter's) with its larger counterpart in Codsall village. The parish church of St Nicholas thus stands tall on the horizon as we approach alongside the cemetery, the 14th century tower basking in some rather warm sunshine. The weather is admittedly lovely, lifting our spirits given the not-very-encouraging cricket updates coming from the Oval (Warwickshire are struggling somewhat in their opening game of the 2017 County Championship).
- Irish Red in the Crown Joules -
We reward our exertions with further refreshment courtesy of the Crown at Codsall Square, a Joules establishment that recently received the accolade of being Wolverhampton CAMRA's Country Pub of the Year. Moorhouse's Irish Red is my chosen tipple here, a nice pint amongst inviting surroundings. Stephen then keeps abreast of the Bears batting woes as we catch the return 5A to Wolverhampton and that's that for a couple of successful mini-adventures. Cheers!