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.

Restoration of Titford Canal – 40 years on!

Forty years after a Rally that was held to celebrate the restoration of the Titford Canal around 50 invited guests along with The Mayor of Sandwell Councilor Linda Horton and her consort Councilor Roger Horton and Richard Parry Chief Executive of Canal & River Trust attended an event the BCN Society’s HQ Titford Pump House.

Linda Horton, Richard Parry and Brenda Ward at Titford Pumphouse

Linda Horton, Richard Parry and Brenda Ward at Titford Pumphouse

Guests started arriving at 10.30am and were greeted and offered tea, coffee and cake or biscuits and an opportunity to chat to old friends as they arrived.

Some guests had travelled as far ar Tor Bay in Devon in the south, Lincoln in the east and Darlington in the north.  All thought it well worth the effort.

The day continued with a show of a variety of photos taken by various people displaying views of Oldbury Locks and the Titford Canal up to and including Titford Pools.  Some photos showed organised campaign cruises in 1963, 1971 and 1972 showing how difficult it was to navigate the canal and by 1972 it was becoming almost impassible.  It was explained that the BCN Society along with financial and practical help from Warley Council, which the day after the rally was changed to Sandwell, much work took place on the locks and canal during 1973.  Photos of this work by the Society were also in evidence.  Finally on the weekend of 30th & 31st March 1974 the Restoration Rally took place and some fine photos of the event were shown.

Many of our guests remarked on people who were there and during the show reminisced and explained what was happening in the photos.  Not only did our guests from the 1974 event recognise people in the photos but our Mayor of Sandwell could name a few including the Mayor of Warley, who coincidentally was also a Lady Mayor and others including the Headmaster of her children’s school who had been the secretary of the event.

Linda Horton cutting the anniversary cake

Linda Horton cutting the anniversary cake

This was followed by a buffet lunch for half our guests while the other half travelled on SLOW BOAT, (also known as the trip boat Aaron Manby which is leased by the Ikon Youth Project for the next 3 years.  More time to reminisce both on the boat and while eating lunch.  Then the second boat trip to the Pools took place while the first trippers had lunch and there was plenty left so nobody went hungry.  This was followed by the official cutting of a celebratory cake along with more teas and coffees and a piece of the cake.

Guests started to leave at about quarter to four with the last leaving at 5pm saying what a lovely day they had had and were looking forward to the 50th Anniversary!!