Boats gathering on the New Main Line for the 250 years celebrations of the Birmingham Canal Navigations

BCN 250 – A Personal View

By Martin O’Keeffe, Chairman, BCN Society Whilst the opening of the canal from Wednesbury into Birmingham in November 1769 was really only the start of the development of the BCN system. However this led to the formation of a canal network which transformed the area and resulted in Birmingham becoming a great manufacturing centre. The 250th anniversary of this event in 2019 seemed something that …

A cheque over £1000 from the BCN Society for the Bradley Canal Restoration Society

Bradley Canal Restoration Society

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 …

Bridge over the derelict Slough Arm, Wyrley & Essington Canal. Screenshot from Canal Hunter video series 3, part 1

Canal Hunter – new video, the Slough Arm!

Andy Hunter has released the first video of his third series! This whole series is about the 27 lost miles of the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Almost 50% of the lost canals of the BCN seem to be arms of the “Curley Wyrley”, which is just 34 miles long! In this new video, Andy explains the history of the W&E, …

Chillington Wharf – now online!

The first interactive panorama, of Chillington Wharf, is now on the website. It’s a former railway interchange basin in Wolverhampton, close to Horseley Fields Junction.  You will have seen it from the BCN Main Line. The entrance to the wharf is blocked, and the wharf is on private grounds, with no public access. In 2016, photographer Harald Joergens created the …

A sleeping dog in a pub, with a pint of bitter in front

New: Dog Friendly Pubs!

We’ve added a new page “Dog friendly pubs“, and, of course, it’s in the “For Boaters” area, as we are talking about (more or less) canal-side pubs with a heart for boaters and their four-legged friends. We would appreciate your help! If you know a dog-friendly pub near the Birmingham Canals If you have a great photo of a dog …

CRT dredger on Titford Pools

Dredging begins at Titford Pools

Photo by Phil Barlow. New from Canal & River Trust, published Nov 6, 2019: Working in partnership with the European Regional Development Fund, Highways England, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and volunteers from the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society, the dredging will see a long reach excavator hauling out mud and silt from the bottom of the Pools. As well as improving …

Cover of the 3rd (2019) edition of "The BCN in Pictures"

The BCN in Pictures – 250th anniversary edition

Published 2 November 2019 “The BCN in Pictures”, our book of historical photographs of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, was first published in 1973. At the time the canals, not just in and around Birmingham, were in a rather sorry state. For the 250th anniversary we have published this new and completely revised edition. A lot has happened since the opening …

A wet October day at the toll island on the New Main Line beneath the Engine Arm aqueduct near Smethwick

Toll Island Work Party

BCNS received a request from Steve Lambert at CRT to undertake a clean up to clear the toll island on the New Main Line beneath the Engine Arm aqueduct near Smethwick. Emails were sent out, a date agreed and 11 hardly volunteers turned up at 9.30am on Saturday 26th October at Brasshouse Lane to meet Steve and unload the CRT tools into the BCNS …

The BCNS website - old and new

The new BCNS website

The BCN is now 250 years old, the BCN Society 52 years, and the BCNS website is a few years old. We do our best to make the BCN a better place, so it was about time to do the same for our website. “Black satanic mills” does not describe the BCN of today. The BCN of today is, in …

The BCNS is now on Twitter!

You may be aware of our Facebook page, now we are on Twitter as well! As you might have guessed, the address is Twitter/bcnsociety, so you can reach us via @bcnsociety, or mention us via #bcnsociety on Twitter. We would like to keep the many Twitter users updated about our events, about what’s going on, about anything BCN really, including new …