No Direction

No Direction is our 70ft Narrowboat which is now home to my wife Jayne and myself, it was launched on 4th February 2008.

We spend the Winters in a Marina and cruise in the warmer weather.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christina Collins and the Bloody Steps.

Sunday, 2nd December 2012.
Kings Bromley Marina.

Steerers concentrating on getting their boat around the sharp ninety degree turn next to Brindley Bank Aqueduct which carries the Trent and Mersey Canal over the River Trent at Rugeley may not have time to read this sign.

It refers to the murder in June 1839 of 37 year old Christina Collins, a fare paying passenger aboard a horse drawn narrowboat travelling between Preston Brook and London, her body was found floating in the canal at Rugeley and as the sign says carried up the steps to the Talbot Inn, the Inn must have been demolished as the only Talbot Inn I can find is on the other side of Rugeley over two miles away.
The "Bloody Steps" today, probably not original, the
hand rail certainly isn't.
If you climb the steps you find a fenced path which leads to the A460 and a modern housing estate.
  The steps lead here.
Christina Collins was buried in St Augustine's Churchyard, today nearly all of the headstones have been moved and the area levelled and grassed over, the headstones are laid out by the perimeter wall.
The Churchyard is now grass with just
 a few headstones left standing.
One of them being Christina Collins, who now has a lonely
position in the Churchyard with a view of the local Aldi.
Three of the boat crew were found guilty of her murder, two were hanged at Stafford Gaol and one transported
The story has been used ( very loosely) for an episode of "Inspector Morse" where the crime scene has been moved south onto the Oxford Canal, the Oxford is a narrow canal but one of the locations used for filming was Braunston Locks on the Grand Union Canal which is a broad canal, any experienced boater would soon spot the error.
Another famous murderer from Rugeley who was also the subject of a TV drama was Dr William Palmer know as the "Rugeley Poisoner" he was also hanged at Stafford, two of his victims are buried in St Augustine's churchyard although Palmer himself was buried within the grounds of Stafford Gaol.

No comments: