The BCN Society supports the Bradley Canal Restoration Society in their fascinating project to restore a lost canal link.
The photo above shows the handing over of a £1,000 cheque for the BCRS. On the left of the cheque is Dave Pearson, BCRS chairman, and on the right Martin O’Keeffe, BCNS Chairman.
What makes this restoration project so fascinating? The canal is gone, the locks are gone, there’s nothing left! On first sight, that is.
True, the canal was filled in, and the locks were filled in. But the locks are most likely still there, just filled with “stuff” that could be removed. The original canal has not been built over, it’s on open land. The lower few hundred yards of the canal are still in water, the bottom lock isn’t even filled in.
The restored canal wouldn’t be “just” a canal arm, a cul-de-sac, it would be a though route from the Old Main Line to the Walsall Canal. Water supply, always an issue with a flight of locks, might be not a big problem – the current Bradley Branch acts as a major feeder for the BCN, where water from old pits is pumped into the canal system at Bradley Workshop.
There is a major obstacle, Bradley Lane. It’s a busy road, and crosses the filled in canal close to Bradley Workshops. There is no easy solution, but canal restoration has overcome bigger hurdles!
For more information, please visit the new Bradley Canal Restoration Society website!
There is, of course, the excellent Andy Tidy “Canal Hunter” Bradley Locks video on this website. Later this year, we should have a complete virtual tour, from Bradley Workshops to the Walsall Canal on this website, together with lots of information.
If you have any old photos of the Bradley Canal, we would love to see, and, with your permission, publish them, in support of this excellent project.