BCN Bradley Arm – Virtual Cruise (VC)

The Bradley Arm is the name now given to what was once a long meandering loop of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Main Line, known as the Wednesbury Oak Loop, leaving the current Main Line at Deepfields Junction and re-joining at Bloomfield Junction, near Factory Junction.

The loop was severed many years ago with only the section between Deepfields Junction and Bradley Workshops remaining.  It was kept open to allow access to Bradley Workshops, where lock gates are manufactured, and to maintain the water supply from the pumps at Bradley to supply the rest of the BCN.

Route of the Bradley Canal
The Wednesbury Oak Loop links Deepfields Junction to Bradley Workshops

My previous blog post explained the proposals to turn this into a through navigation by reopening abandoned waterways under the name of Bradley Canal.

The Bradley Arm can be cruised, and the towpath is in good condition and can be walked throughout, making a through walk including the route of the proposed Bradley Canal possible.  The whole route is shown in my Bradley Canal map and can be downloaded in both Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats and, like all the maps for restoration projects, the Bradley Canal maps are free to download.

Deepfields Junction.
110425-090408 – SO 93967 95011 – BCN-ML 16-130

I’ve made the photos from my recent walk into a virtual cruise, including the through route so you can click through the next buttons to complete your virtual cruise from the comfort of your chair.  Just choose your starting point:-

Deepfields Junction

Bradley Workshops >
            Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)
Bradley Arm (Wednesbury Oak Loop)
Next >
< Horseley Fields Junction Factory Junction >
< Next Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)
Main Line
Next >
Deepfields Junction.
110425-090408 – SO 93967 95011 – BCN-ML 16-130

The New Main Line of the Birmingham Canal Navigations runs straight past Deepfields Junction between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

Once a complete loop, known as the Wednesdbury Oak Loop, the remaining arm, often referred to as the Bradley Arm now only goes as far as Bradley Workshops.

One of the arms is still just there

< Deepfields Junction Bradley Workshops >
< Next Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN)
Bradley Arm (Wednesbury Oak Loop)
Next >
One of the many arms is still just visible.
151204-113228 – SO 94508 94979 – BCN-BA 16-800

There were many short arms along the canal, providing connections and moorings for local industries and a few, like this one, are still identifiable, although most have been filled in with nothing left to see.

This once provided a winding point, although it’s too silted up to be used now, and I’ve removed it from our downloadable Canal Maps which are kept up to date with monthly issues – but it will still appear in our rivals’ printed guides for some time.