About the BCN Society

Line drawing by Edward Paget-Tomlinson, 2000

Titford Pump House – a line drawing by Edward Paget-Tomlinson, 2000

The Birmingham Canal Navigations Society (BCNS) aims to conserve, improve and encourage a wide range of interests in the 100 mile network of the Birmingham and Black Country Waterways known as the BCN.
It was formed in 1968 and has been promoting the areas canal system for forty seven years.  In the early days it fought campaigns against the closure of many canals, but now the emphasis is on restoration and promoting awareness.

The BCNS has its headquarters at the restored Pumphouse on the Titford Canal, in Oldbury.  At 511 ft above sea level the Pumphouse is at the highest part of the BCN. Around the pumphouse are moorings – both for visitors and long term (booked through C&RT) , and in the pumphouse is a sanitary station to service the moorings.

We meet monthly at the Pumphouse for talks by a wide variety of speakers on canals and subjects of related interest. See the Meetings and Social Events page for details.  A fair proportion of us are boaters, so we don’t have meetings across the summer – too many of us are off on our boats.

We run boating events and rallies :-   See the Rallies page for details.

We are well through 2015 rallies and cruises, with the Summer explorer cruise in September 2015 finishing at Tipton almost upon us.  This is fully booked, but if you want to join in next year contact Stuart and Marie early.

The Bonfire Rally with fireworks at the top of Smethwick locks on 31 October closes the our rally season.

We also supports many other events and rallies throughout the Midlands canal network and within the local community.

We keep our members are kept up to date with news and events around the region with our quarterly magazine “Boundary Post”.  (Named after the posts that once lined the edges of the BCN marking the canal company boundary.)   We’ll also sell Boundary Post to non-members at the many events attended by The BCNS.

The Society works closely with the Canal & River Trust to ensure the ongoing maintenance of the local system.   The BCNS has C&RT recognised self supervising workparty status.   We hold regular workparties  throughout the year using the society’s purpose built 38ft workboat Phoenix paired with open butty Crow.  In September 2009, in recognition of its work, The BCNS was one of ten national recipients of British Waterways Volunteer Awards.

Since 2008 The BCNS, in partnership with Coombeswood Canal Trust  (CCT), has operated the historic British Waterways workboat Atlas and butty Malus.  Restoration and maintenance are ongoing, and we welcome anyone interested in historic boats to join us.

Why not join us and help us conserve this valuable labyrinth of canals and its heritage for the benefit of everyone.  Follow this link for details and an application form.

The BCNS was established as a Registered Charity (charity number: 1091760) in 1968.  In 2002 we reconstituted as a Company Limited by Guarantee (company number: 4306537).

5 thoughts on “About the BCN Society

  1. Where, oh where can I find details of facilities, such as pump outs, on the northern part of BCN ?Not on this website, CRT website seems to have lost all useful function for boaters. Cheers
    Steve Edwards- edwards20@gmail.com

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