Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Murders most Foul!

Tuesday we managed to move on as far as Rugeley in time to visit the local 'Spoons'. This one is in an old cinema. We have tried several of the ex. cinema Wetherspoons but this one retains all the feel of its origins. It was opened in 1934 as the Picture House and was in use for over fifty years.

You are really spoiled for choice when stocking up the boat, with Aldi, Morrisons and now, our choice, the new canalside Tesco's.
Heading out of Rugeley you pass two sites with connections to some of the gruesome history of the town. First alongside one of the bridges stands the birthplace of  William Palmer, the Rugeley poisoner. Palmer, a doctor, was hanged at Stafford Gaol for the murder of his friend, John Cook in 1856. He was also suspected of killing his brother, mother in law and his four children with Strychnine poison.

As we headed for the open country at the aqueduct over the Trent at Brindley Bank we passed the 'Bloody Steps'. It was here that the body of Christina Collins was found floating in the canal in 1839. Her body was carried up the steps to an Inn. Legend has it that her blood left permanent stains on the steps. Two boatmen were subsequently hanged for the murder and a third deported. This story was used as the basis for the Morse episode, 'The Wench is Dead'. The canal here takes a sharp right hand turn before crossing the aqueduct. The Captain was so engrossed looking for the Bloody Steps, he nearly missed the bloody bend!!!
Another hour or so took us as far as Great Heywood before the rain started again.

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