The Big BCN Cleanup

This years BCN clean up will see us return to an area not visited for many years, based at Ocker Hill on the Walsall Canal the teams of Volunteers will clean the lower Walsall, Tame Valley Canals and Ryders Green Locks.

Day Volunteers can sign on at Ocker Hill Depot from 10am, or at the Malthouse Stables in Tipton at 9am, where you will be transported to Ocker Hill.

Safety foot wear should be worn as well as water proof clothing. Bring your lunch if you do not with to purchase the lunch provided by Waterway Recovery Group.

For further details please email or call Chris Morgan.

The big annual BCN Cleanup, with the BCN Society working alongside Coombeswood Canal TrustDudley Canal Trust, the Canal & River Trust and the IWA (Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch Waterways Recovery Group.)

Come along under the auspices of any of the groups.

If you want accommodation and food provided, book through the Waterways Recovery Group website.

If you are staying with them, accommodation is available from the night of 15th, at the malt house stables, Tipton.

You are welcome to come and join us – wear stout footwear and old clothes.  Waterproofs could be a good move.

Tea and coffee are provided for everyone but bring your own pack lunch, unless buying it through the WRG.  (If you are doing this, check with Chris for details first)

Chris Morgan will be leading the group, and can be contacted by email on the link.

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Voting opens for Canal & River Trust Council elections

The current CRT Council

The current CRT Council

Boaters and boating businesses are being called on to cast their votes for their six representatives on the Canal & River Trust’s Council as voting opens today (13 November 2015). Volunteers and employees of the Trust will also be voting for one candidate to fill each of the volunteer and employee places. A further place will be held by a Friend of the Trust, who this time round will be co-opted by the Trust’s Appointments Committee.

The Council is made up of 40 nominated, co-opted or elected members as well as the Chairs of 11 regional waterway partnerships. Together they reflect the wide appeal of the waterways – from boating and angling through to walking and conservation. The Council is responsible for the appointment of Trustees, helps to shape policies and provides guidance and perspective to Trustees.

Electoral Reform Services (ERS), which is managing the process independently of the Trust, will email a unique login to everyone eligible to vote (and send a login code by post to people without email). Voters have four weeks until midnight on Friday 11 December to login to cast their vote online at www.votebyinternet.com/CRTelections2015.

The results will be announced on Monday 14 December and the elected candidates will take up their voluntary posts on the Council for four years starting in March 2016.

People can read the candidates’ manifestos at www.votebyinternet.com/CRTelections2015.

More information about the Council and the elections can be found at www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/councilelections2015

(The above is a press release from C&RT.  Conspicuously friends are not being included in the voting, as no candidate received sufficient nominations to be included – perhaps we as a society should chase this more actively for the next election)

Those that I know standing that I would call friends of the society include Andrew Phasey and Vaughan Welch (in the Private Boaters section, and Andy Tidy (in the business section)

Bradley flight to be restored

Not only do we have a start made on the restoration of the Dudley No 2, but also the decision to re-instate the Bradley flight, from Bradley workshops down to the Walsall canal.

BCNS Explorer Cruise walk from the Walsall Canal to Bradley Workshops

Bradley locks today

C&RT announced that they were adopting the Bradley Locks Final Report.  Other than dealing with a road bridge at the top, there are no major obstacles to restoration.

The restoration will not just be a navigation route, but also (and more importantly for users other than boaters) be a wildlife corridor and part of the regeneration of the area.

 

 

Not quite today's health and safety!

Replacing gates on the Bradley flight, 1933

 

The lower locks will be particularly easy to restore – they were refurbished before being filled in to protect the chambers.  All that is needed is to dig them out, and fit gates.

(Here is the work being done in 1933 – photo from the Bob May collection)

Hopefully we will be able to produce a colour version of this photo before two long.

Lapal Canal Trust – Dudley No 2 canal – Work has started

LATEST NEWS – Work has started!

Harborne Wharf area in Selly Oak Park

Work has started at Harborne Wharf, with Careys (the contractors working on the Battery Park site) have agreed to clearing the infill etc. This needed planning permission, which was granted on 15 October, and work has already started!  (Well done Carey’s, and congratulations to all of those involved.)

There will be a work party to supplement Carey’s work on Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 Nov –  see the events list for details.

The dig advances slowly towards the scout hut.

The dig advances slowly towards the scout hut.

This will allow the removal of up to 2000 cubic meters (100 lorry loads) of rubble and subsoil which had accumulated in the Harborne Wharf canal basin since the mid 1950’s when the canal was closed. Completion of the link to the Worcester and Birmingham canal will allow the canal basin to be filled with water. The basin will be 100 meters long and 20 meters wide at its widest point and will also be used as a temporary mooring and winding hole for canal boats.

Harborne Wharf

Before the work started

The headquarters of the 113th Ariel Scout Group in Selly Oak is located next to the canal and the scouts will help to build the slipway for safe access for canoes.
John Moody the Scout Leader said, “This will be a huge benefit for the Scouts, we can’t wait to get the basin full of water, it will allow training to be carried out safely.”

Contact the Lapal Canal Trust  on their website, or on facebook, where you can get more photos and the latest news.

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!