“Stolen” mud hopper found

Jeff relaxing before bow hauling up Farmers BridgeHereford and Gloucester canal society’s hopper “Tow” – an ex River class butty converted in to a mud skip, had rested for a few years on Icknield Port Loop.  They had an offer to lift it out of the water at Alvechurch – but when they went to collect it, it wasn’t there!

Jeff Carter ducks while Paul Smith looks on.It was found at the top of Camp Hill locks – it had probably been assumed by CRT contractors that it was one of their hoppers.  The problem was to get it down to Alvechurch.  A team from H&G, supplemented by BCN society stalwarts bow hauled it down Camp Hill, and up Digbeth and Farmers Bridge flight, with the assistance of Muskrat.  (Muskrat is well known to Marathon Challenge afficionados – owned by John Hammond of H&G)

 

 

 

Brought to Farmers Bridge, then towed down to Alvechurch.  Mudhopper Tow about to be craned out

Well done all for retrieving Tow.

 

Tipton Festival

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Billy Spake Mon

As with every year, the Tipton Festival was great fun.  When a vibrant community festival meets the canal, there is a good time to be had – especially when the sun shines all weekend.

Music, glamour and boats – Phoenix as band and trip boat.  Atlas and Malus, Scorpio and many other working boats.

 

Bernard and his Glamorous Assistant - with the badge to prove it

Bernard and his Glamorous Assistant – with the badge to prove it!

 

 

Blackwell Concert Band on Phoenix

Blackwell Concert Band on Phoenix

 

 

 

 

Particularly good to see Caggy and her new owners.

Caggy and new owners from Atlas

Caggy and new owners from Atlas

 

Booking for BCNS End of Season rally at Titford opens

Booking for our end of season rally has now opened.  (We are having an end of season rally at Titford Pumphouse, rather than a bonfire rally.)

Titford Pump Housex

Titford Pump House

Real ale, live music and food – a good weekend out.

The Society AGM will be on the Friday evening.

If you are coming by boat, you will need an entry form, that you can download on this link..  If you are coming by any other means, just turn up.

If you need more information, contact Dave Dent by email from this link or by phoning him on 07774 605336.

Return to the home page

 

Birmingham Heritage Week – canal walks

Discover Birmingham’s
Waterway Wonders

Meet outside the Round House, canal side, by the Fiddle and Bone public house,  Sheepcote Street B16 8EB, at 11:00 on 13, 15 and 17 September.
Visitors to the canal side will be offered guided walking tours from the Round House.

Expert volunteers (from the BCNS) will help people to enjoy the historic fabric and features spanning the two hundred year history of Birmingham’s Canal Network.

Find out how important the canals were to the growth of Birmingham, learn about the Old Turn Island, the Worcester Bar, the Horseley Bridges, the Brindley Loops and much more during our easy one hour walk.

Part of Birmingham Heritage Week

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.

Return to main site

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!

A Night by the Cut

Billie Spake Mon & John Langford

in conjunction with

Black Country Radio’s “Omma ‘n’ Chain Show”

&

The Black Country Bugle

proudly present

A Night By The Cut

Saturday 27th June 2015, 7pm for 7:30.

Tickets £5, payable at the door. Can be reserved using the contact form below.

Billie Spake Mon and John Langford performing at Titford Pump House on Saturday 27 June, at 7pm (for 7:30) Tickets £5. Reserve and pay at the door.

Billie Spake Mon and John Langford performing at Titford Pump House on Saturday 27 June, at 7pm (for 7:30)
Tickets £5. Reserve and pay at the door.


BCNS Marathon Challenge 2015

Great Marathon Challenge – Thanks to Roy Kenn and John Carrington for organising it.

Water levels a bit low, which made it more of a challenge! C&RT are looking at why, and will try to avoid the same happening next year.

A message from John Carrington
I have just had a meeting with Roy and initially we would like to sincerely thank all of you and your respective crews for entering the event and your support and understanding

The turnout was amazing with 36 boats finishing at Bradley workshops. Unfortunately so many arriving at 3.59pm did result in congestion but again your understanding and flexibility resulted in this becoming manageable albeit a little frustrating for some of you.

Secondly a really big thank you to the CRT staff at Bradley Workshops, in particular Dave Constable, who could not have been more helpful and accommodating. I understand he even arranged a tour of the workshops on Monday morning for those entrants who arrived too late for the scheduled Sunday tour. Similarly, a big thank you to the workshop manager, Janet Tynan, who traveled down from Wakefield specifically to welcome us all so warmly.

One aspect that many entrants commented on was rubbish in the canal. One entrant had to visit the weed hatch 17 times and another ‘recovered’ 6 shopping trolleys and assorted metal debris. You will recall from an earlier e mail that the local CRT management asked for photographs to be sent to them so they can assess the scale of the problem and focus their resources. Please send photographs to Ian Lane at canalrivertrust.org.uk .   (Please copy your email to John Carrington – if you were on the challenge you know his email address.)

Last year we asked for feedback concerning the arrangements for the Challenge and many entrants sent comments, all of which were useful and a number of which were incorporated into this year’s event. We would really welcome any comments and feedback and you can be assured Roy and I will review them and if appropriate incorporate them into next year’s event (there’s a clue to the future)

Similarly CRT Management is conducting a review about their oversight of the network during the Challenge and their response(s) to the problems at Titford and Factory Locks. Any feedback you make that has relevance to this CRT review will be forwarded to them.

Roy and I have already started to mark the cruise logs and this year we will be piloting a new database which has been written for us by a member of the BCNS. Because this is the first time we have used ‘technology’ we will be marking cruise logs both manually and technically so please bear with us if the results are not declared as quick as last year. We are confident the database will make the scoring more efficient both for this and future events but please bear with us.

A big thank you to Sue for her endeavors in devising this database and her calm understanding towards Roy and me who are truly IT technophobes.

Just a quick reminder, although a number of you have already submitted your photographs or had then checked at the finish, if you are yet to submit them please send them to me as soon as practicable. All submissions will be acknowledged and those checked at the finish will be confirmed.

Finally Roy and I would like to thank the other members of the BCNS for all their help with the arrangements; particularly the complimentary hot food which we know was most welcome.

Watch this space re 2016 Challenge”

If you want to send your comments to John and Roy from this page, please use the form below.