Ropes for tigers

Received quite an unusual email last week.
Click on the photo to zoom an, and open the link – very unusual!
Maybe you can help?

A tiger at Shepreth Wildlife Park eating a boat fender
A tiger munching a fender

Do you think some of the BCNS members would be interested in donating any unusable boat rope to a good cause?
We have recently approached by Shepreth Wildlife Park looking for old used rope for their Tigers to play with. They can make use of any natural rope used in marine applications.
Here are a few images and a bit more info about our own donation if you would like to take a look –
If you think this is something that members might want to help with I would be happy to put together the details for your blog if that is the best way to communicate?

Kind Regards

John T:0330 124 3556

Brownshill Canalside Festival 2019

The BCN society has its first rally in Brownhills over the weekend of the 18/19th May 2019. The event was based along the extensive canal frontage to Silver Street with stalls and trading boats plus historic craft and over 40 visiting narrowboats.

The location was not without its challenges with double yellow lines and a new fence making access to the site difficult. This was the site of the former Brownhills Community canalised festival which ceased in about 2016 so BCNS were pleased to be able to recreate some of that magic albeit over a 2 day period than just the 1 day previously.

There was not enough room canalside for a refreshment marquee, so the Society hired Brownhills Community Association halls about 4 minutes walk away. The staff at the centre were amazing and went out of their way to make the event a success. The halls was used for the bar, teas and coffees and also for entertainment. 

Friday night saw Billy Spakemon and friends and Wild Irish entertained the boaters on Saturday evening. Railway historian Ian Pell gave a very well attended and received talk on the links between Canals and Railways on Saturday afternoon.

The weather stayed fine for us and the crowds came out and visited the stalls and colourful boats. This made the rally a success not only for the number of boats that attended and cruised the Wyrley and Essington, but also bringing the Brownhills Community out onto their towpath and appreciate their waterside location.

A big thank you to all those society members that volunteered to make this event happen and also to the stall holders, Brownhills Community Association and to CRT for providing the land and water.

Watch this space to see where the rally will be held in 2020.

From Brownhills Bob’s blog:
Pictures from the 2019 Brownhills BCNS Canalside Festival

From the Express & Star:
Canal festival back with bang

New webmaster

BCNS are delighted to announce that we have a new webmaster who has taken control of both the BCNS websites and now merged them into one – For a limited time only any search of will auto divert to the .com site and eventually the link will die and the site will cease to exist.

Work on the site is continuing but the webpages offer a full diary function plus archive and information about the BCN network. BCNS are keen for members to contribute and thus if anyone has relevant content that they would like to add then please send it to Please provide as much detail as you can, email address and phone number, any links and photos.

BCNS are indebted to Harald Joergens for giving up so much of his time and undertaking this work.

…and a word from the new chap:

It honour to be trusted with the BCNS website. I fell in love with the BCN in the 1980s, and have always admired the great work of the BCNS to keep as many canals navigable as possible, and to improve this incredible network from the rather sad state of the late 20th century to the welcoming and interesting environment it is now.

To anyone interested in the BCN: Please contribute to this website by sending information, articles, photos, anything that might be of interest, to

National Citizen Service – The Challenge

National Citizen Service

The young people from “The Challenge” worked with us again this summer.

As usual, it was good fun – and hopefully and introduction to the canals for the young people.

Thank you guys for joining us for a work party.

(By the way – we don’t claim to be the Birmingham Canal Navigations – the certificate simply didn’t have the space to put “society” on the title line.)

BCN Society Spring Cruise 2018

on Saturday 7th April 2018 at 10am

from TIPTON to BUMBLE HOLE via locks & Netherton tunnel

We welcome boaters to join our cruise & to allow some passengers to join them.

This year we are taking our Spring Cruise from Tipton to Windmill End and back.

We will take either the Factory Locks or Brades to take us from the Old Main Line at Tipton to the New Main Line then through Netherton Tunnel to moor around Windmill End & Bumble Hole.

There we will have a bring your own lunch stop and take a short walk and visit the Bumble Hole Visitor Centre.

Then we shall return to Tipton via the tunnel & either Brades or Factory (take the other set of locks that you took on your way out).

Many of our passengers will leave us at Tipton, though those that wish may join us for the evening meal will be welcome.

We will start at Tipton at around 10am, returning to Tipton around 5pm.  There is no charge for this cruise but the whole point is to encourage non boaters to join us so please state how many passengers you are willing to take with you on your boat.

An evening meal will be arranged – details later.

If you need further details email email Brenda Ward at

Work party re-secures Titford Pump House moorings

There had been some thoroughly unpleasant incidents with vandals coming under Tat Bank bridge, crossing the canal on the bridging pontoon and vandalising

The first navigation of the Tat Bank feeder in many years! Photo Wayne Attwood.

some of the boats moored there.

It became apparent that the end of the fence blocking the access under the bridge had been removed.

A work party moved the pontoon that provided the access to the moorings, and found the missing piece of fence in the canal.

A subsequent work party re-attached the fence, (using the bolts from the bridging pontoon, and bending the bolts so they could not be removed again.)

With a bit of luck, the moorings should be secure again.  Certainly there have been no more incidents.

With the bridging pontoon moved, there is no definite end to the Tat Bank feeder, so Phoenix navigated down the cut for a hundred yards or so – the first navigation in many years.  Definitely not for the faint hearted – Phoenix unloaded draws very little water, and she was definitely pushing through the silt.


Work party success

On a stunningly successful work party in November, 12 volunteers filled Crowe and Phoenix from only three bridge holes.

Hooked from the bottom of three bridge holes on the Tame Valley Canal

The job was far from finished – so they had another go.

(Due to a communications glitch – this was originally posted as a workparty on Jan 19th – there is not one then)


Progress restoring the Dudley No 2

In 2016 Lapal Canal Trust made some big strides towards restoring the Dudley No 2 canal.

There was substantial excavation of Harborne Wharf by Careys, a WRG work camp to restore the canal wall.  (There is another WRG camp starting on 29 July – see the Diary or the WRG website.)


The ground was laser scanned, so that they can take sections to help estimate the material to moved to restore canal as far as California.  (Near Barnes Hill Asda rather than Mexico, for those who don’t know the area)





This was done by Ken Pearson  of Laser Scans Ltd.

In addition they got a further £30000 funding for further work from the Headley fund.

Well Done Lapal Canal Trust!

BCN Safe Moorings and Facilities Guide

A project for this year is to update our moorings and facilities guide – in two ways.  One of them is to revisit all of the moorings and reassess them, and the second is to add details and photographs of all of them on the website.

The pdf file, which is designed to be printed out (ideally on both sides of a sheet of A4) is to have in your pocket as an aide-memoire.

The web pages will have photographs and comments.  We welcome contributions of both.