BBC Canals Web Page

I was looking at the stats on the website use – and in the last month, we have had quite a number from the BBC News website, tied in to a series by Liz McIvor “Canals – The Making of a Nation”  (Given the way iPlayer works, this link may not last long)

I have yet to look at any of them, but an initial glance gives the impression that they should be worth watching.  Meanwhile we can return the favour, by directing people to their site.

Albion Foundation Workparty – A sleep(er) on the job

We had a great workparty with the some of the Albion Foundation staff.

Clearing the narrows above the railway bridge, in addition to the usual motorbikes and supermarket trolleys, we hauled in this railway sleeper, complete with chairs.

I’m not sure what is the heaviest lump we have got from the canal –  the (empty) safe we got last year or this sleeper – but we definitely needed the muscle that the team provided !

For the railway buffs, it was it was clearly an old GWR sleeper – classic GWR two bolt chairs.  How it got from the railway bridge, which is twenty yards or so away, to these narrows is far from clear.

It was interesting to learn more about some of the things the Albion Foundation does – working with young people on the margins of the education system, or excluded from school, and using sport – not just football – to encourage them to learn.  Seriously impressive stuff.  Find out more on the link.

Staff from the Albion Foundation joining us on a workparty clearing rubbish from Titford Canal

Staff from the Albion Foundation joining us on a workparty clearing rubbish from Titford Canal

The team. (A big bunch – Jon, the “short” one at the front – is over 6 feet tall)

The Albion Foundation team work party at Titford Pumphouse

The Albion Foundation team work party at Titford Pumphouse

Thank you very much guys!

A Night by the Cut

Billie Spake Mon & John Langford

in conjunction with

Black Country Radio’s “Omma ‘n’ Chain Show”


The Black Country Bugle

proudly present

A Night By The Cut

Saturday 27th June 2015, 7pm for 7:30.

Tickets £5, payable at the door. Can be reserved using the contact form below.

Billie Spake Mon and John Langford performing at Titford Pump House on Saturday 27 June, at 7pm (for 7:30) Tickets £5. Reserve and pay at the door.

Billie Spake Mon and John Langford performing at Titford Pump House on Saturday 27 June, at 7pm (for 7:30)
Tickets £5. Reserve and pay at the door.

BCNS Marathon Challenge 2015

Great Marathon Challenge – Thanks to Roy Kenn and John Carrington for organising it.

Water levels a bit low, which made it more of a challenge! C&RT are looking at why, and will try to avoid the same happening next year.

I’ll put in photographs as I get them, and publish the results as soon as John, Roy and

A message from John Carrington
I have just had a meeting with Roy and initially we would like to sincerely thank all of you and your respective crews for entering the event and your support and understanding

The turnout was amazing with 36 boats finishing at Bradley workshops. Unfortunately so many arriving at 3.59pm did result in congestion but again your understanding and flexibility resulted in this becoming manageable albeit a little frustrating for some of you.

Secondly a really big thank you to the CRT staff at Bradley Workshops, in particular Dave Constable, who could not have been more helpful and accommodating. I understand he even arranged a tour of the workshops on Monday morning for those entrants who arrived too late for the scheduled Sunday tour. Similarly, a big thank you to the workshop manager, Janet Tynan, who traveled down from Wakefield specifically to welcome us all so warmly.

One aspect that many entrants commented on was rubbish in the canal. One entrant had to visit the weed hatch 17 times and another ‘recovered’ 6 shopping trolleys and assorted metal debris. You will recall from an earlier e mail that the local CRT management asked for photographs to be sent to them so they can assess the scale of the problem and focus their resources. Please send photographs to Ian Lane at .   (Please copy your email to John Carrington – if you were on the challenge you know his email address.)

Last year we asked for feedback concerning the arrangements for the Challenge and many entrants sent comments, all of which were useful and a number of which were incorporated into this year’s event. We would really welcome any comments and feedback and you can be assured Roy and I will review them and if appropriate incorporate them into next year’s event (there’s a clue to the future)

Similarly CRT Management is conducting a review about their oversight of the network during the Challenge and their response(s) to the problems at Titford and Factory Locks. Any feedback you make that has relevance to this CRT review will be forwarded to them.

Roy and I have already started to mark the cruise logs and this year we will be piloting a new database which has been written for us by a member of the BCNS. Because this is the first time we have used ‘technology’ we will be marking cruise logs both manually and technically so please bear with us if the results are not declared as quick as last year. We are confident the database will make the scoring more efficient both for this and future events but please bear with us.

A big thank you to Sue for her endeavors in devising this database and her calm understanding towards Roy and me who are truly IT technophobes.

Just a quick reminder, although a number of you have already submitted your photographs or had then checked at the finish, if you are yet to submit them please send them to me as soon as practicable. All submissions will be acknowledged and those checked at the finish will be confirmed.

Finally Roy and I would like to thank the other members of the BCNS for all their help with the arrangements; particularly the complimentary hot food which we know was most welcome.

Watch this space re 2016 Challenge”

If you want to send your comments to John and Roy from this page, please use the form below.


Claymills Victorian Pumping Station in steam Easter weekend

Not even slightly BCN, but the passion of Chris Allen, who was talking to us on Thursday 2nd about stationary steam engines.

The Claymills Victorian Pumping Station in Burton on Trent is in steam on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Follow the link for full details.