2014 Programme – out now.

Next years programme is out.

The monthly meetings start on the 9th of January with Tony Gregory telling us about the Wolverhampton canals over 60 years.

(NOTE – this meeting is on the SECOND Thursday, rather than the the usual First Thursday of the month, to keep it clear of the New Year / Christmas goings on)

The rest of the meeting are, as usual, on the first Thursday of the month.  Follow the link to the Meetings tab for the full programme.

Next years rallies (and the like) start with the first of this years BCNS Explorer Cruises – 9th May – 16th May, finishing at Titford Pumphouse, in time for the BCN Society Summer Rally at Titford Pump House on the 16th-18th May. May – 26th May, followed by the BCN Society Marathon Challenge, on the 24 – 25th May.  Two very different ways of exploring the BCN!  The explorer cruises are a delightfully relaxed way of exploring the BCN in company.  The Marathon Challenge does what it says on the tin – challenges you to see how much of the BCN you can do in 24 hours!  Both are great fun, but in very different ways.  (I know – I have done both)  Stuart and Marie (the organisers of the Explorer Cruises) have organised the second cruise so that they will not interfere with those on the Marathon Challenge going through locks.

Details and contacts for these events are on the Rallies tab of the diary.
This year, waterway photographer Kevin Maslin is running the first BCN Society Photography Workshop at Titford Pumphouse on 24 May.  Places on this are limited – contact Kevin on workshop@kevinmaslin.co.uk for details.  (The clash with the Marathon Challenge is deliberate – so that boats on the challenge can be photographed coming up the Crow)
The last rally is the Bonfire Rally, on 1st November.

BCN Explorer Cruise

Walsall Town Basin

The second of this year’s BCN Explorer Cruises – at Walsall Town Basin

This year’s second BCN Explorer Cruise started in Wolverhampton, and finished at the BCN Society clubhouse at Titford Pumphouse, taking a relaxed and leisurely trip via Pelsall Common, Anglesey Basin, Longwood Boat Club (at the top of the Rushall locks), Ocker Hill junction, Walsall Town Arm, and Tipton Green.

Aside from a great time being had by all, there were a series of highlights.

At Ocker Hill,  Andy Tidy  took us for a walk around the now defunct Ridgeacre Branch,showing us the remains of the dead canal.  Fascinating meeting someone else fascinated by this aspect of the history of the BCN – especially someone who knows so much more about it than I do.  (I think Felonious Mongoose must have been one of the last boats down the Ridgeacre – and the difficulty and pollution were such that I think that British Waterways (as was) request that boats do not attempt to navigate it is entirely reasonable.)  To dredge it would be a toxic waste nightmare.

Thence on to Walsall Town Arm, with its outstanding New Art Gallery from where this photo was taken.

From Walsall most of us went up the Walsall locks to Tipton Green. There most, if not all of us did a quality control check of the beer and pies at Tipton’s historic Pie Factory. The link takes you to see the historic place this renowned factory has in British military history !! (??)

The cruise finished at Titford Pump House, where the Old Swan brewery / pub provided yet more beer to provide quality control on.  Passed with flying colours.

Thanks to Stuart and Marie Sherrat for organising an outstanding event.