Staffordshire Stations – Cannock

I have been somewhat neglecting my mission to visit all the stations in Staffordshire lately, so I made up for that on Tuesday 21st February by visiting Cannock station on the Chase Line.

There is more than one way to get to Cannock by train; the quick way via Tamworth and Rugeley, or the easy way via Birmingham New Street. I opted for the latter because I would have had a seven minute changeover at Tamworth, and a late train could have scuppered that plan.

Cannock railway station

The original Cannock station opened in February 1858 by the South Staffordshire Railway company, but was closed in 1965 by Doctor Beeching. The line remained in place, and the new station was built and opened in 1989 as part of the re-opening of the Chase Line between Rugeley and Birmingham New Street.

The station is very basic, with no buildings apart from waiting shelters. There are information displays, help points and many pictures on the platforms. If you like huge pictures of deer, then go to Cannock station. They are everywhere. There is also a sculpture on the sign outside the station.

Cannock station sculpture

I left the station and crossed the road to the Mill Green and Hawks Green Valley Nature Reserve, based in a former mill pond which was converted to a nature reserve in 1977. There is a tarmac path which forms a walk around the mill pond. It was quite busy with dog walkers and families out for a stroll, seeing as it’s half-term and the youngsters are off school.

To the east of the reserve is the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet West Midlands, a huge shopping complex opened in 2021. I didn’t have time for shopping, though, as I headed out of the nature reserve and towards the town centre.

Cannock is a former coal mining town, located close to Walsall and Wolverhampton in the south, and Stafford to the north. It is most notable for the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to the north east of the town, which I didn’t visit on this occasion. I probably will when I visit Hednesford station.

I had a stroll around the town centre for a while, admiring some of the sculptures and old buildings therein.

The elephant statue, named “Khushi“, was installed in 2008 to replace a fibreglass elephant installed in 1989 (called “Canumbo“, a portmanteau of ‘Cannock’ and ‘jumbo’) which was destroyed by vandals in 2006. The new one is made from granite. The beacon was installed in 2018 to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War (1914-1918). It was part of a nationwide network of beacons lit in November of that year.

The Parish Church of St Luke was first erected in the 12th century and is the main church in the town.

The bandstand above houses an anchor, presented by Cannock’s twin town of Dasseln in Germany in 1996 to mark the 25th anniversary of their twinning in 1971. The base of the bandstand was built by public subscription to mark the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902.

The Conduit Head building dates from the 1736, and was built to supply water to Cannock from a spring in Stringer’s Meadow in Leacroft, south-east of Cannock. It provided water until 1942, when mining subsidence caused a pipe to break.

I headed out of the town centre to Cannock Park, a public open space with children’s play equipment, sports pitches and a rose garden, which is going to look great in the spring, but doesn’t in February.

Time was getting on, so I walked to a nearby convenience store to buy some lunch, then I headed back to the railway station. I spotted another sculpture on the way back, this time on a roundabout. It is called “Heritage”, and was installed in 2004 to commemorate Cannock’s coal mining past.

Heritage sculpture

I returned to the station, then caught the next train to Birmingham New Street, then caught another train back to Burton on Trent. I will be back in the area sometime this year to do Hednesford station and complete all the stations in Staffordshire. Thanks very much for reading.


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