Footpath behind Bradley Workshops

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The footpath passing behind Bradley Workshops as it provide a through route to the main road.
The footpath passing behind Bradley Workshops

It’s not possible to walk through Bradley Workshops and the towpath becomes a separate footpath passing behind the workshops so it’s still possible to walk between the main towpath and the main road, and onto the Bradley Canal.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 19.180
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95711 95090
Date and Time151204 104454
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Bradley Workshops

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Bradley Workshops are near the end of the Wednesbury Oak Loop
Bradley Workshops are near the end of the Wednesbury Oak Loop

Bradley Workshops, where lock gates are made, are near the end of the Wednesbury Oak Loop.  This once formed a complete loop of the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) Old Main Line until it fell into decline and was severed.

There are proposals to re-open the canal ahead, linking through the Rotton Brunt Line and the Bradley Branch to reach the Walsall Canal at Moorcroft Junction.  Those waterways are becoming known as the Bradley Canal.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 19.170
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95632 95087
Date and Time110425 095329
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Former Bridge over the Former Arm

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Former Bridge over the Former Arm
Former Bridge over the Former Arm

The top is missing from this former bridge which once crossed the end of a loop which passed to our right and re-joined the canal further ahead (as we look towards Deepfields Junction).

Note the winding hear near the foot of the ramp which once enabled a chain to be pulled across the canal to stop boat movements.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 19.150.01
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95626 95106
Date and Time110425 095616
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Winding Mechanism

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Winding Mechanism which one allowed a chain to be pulled tight across the canal to stop boat movements
Winding Mechanism which one allowed a chain to be pulled tight across the canal to stop boat movements

This winding mechanism once allowed a chain to be pulled taught across the canal outside Bradley Workshops to stop boat movements.  Possibly more of a deterrent to stop mischievous youths than real theft.

When closed by the chain the space to wind boats is severely limited and full length boats may no be able to wind which is why signs at the previous winding point say this location is only available during workshop opening hours.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 19.150.01
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95626 95106
Date and Time110425 095642
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Crystal Clear Water

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Crystal clear water
Crystal clear water

The Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN) are at a higher level than all the joining canals so water must be supplied from reservoirs or by pumping.  A pumping station near Bradley Workshops lifts water from underground springs to supply the Wednesbury Oak Canal and, through that canal, the Wolverhampton Level of the BCN.

The fresh water from the springs combined with the limited boat traffic along the canal make for exceptionally clear water where the bottom is visible for most of the length.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 19.000
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95640 95256
Date and Time110425 095032
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Can you see the Junction?

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Can you see the junction?
Can you see the junction?

As well as the many short arms we have passed only the canal there was once a complete loop near Bradley Workshops.  Looking back towards Deepfields Junction we can see the raised brickwork which once formed the side of the bridge over the entrance to the loop which passed behind the tree and around to our right – rejoining the main canal behind us.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 18.835
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95675 95412
Date and Time151204 105117
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

Open Spaces near the Housing

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Open spaces near the housing
Open spaces near the housing

Where houses replace old industries which came close to the canal there is nothing to separate the houses from the canal.  Where houses are built on what was green space the hedge lines have mostly been retained to separate the building from the canal.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN-WOL 18.270
OS Grid ReferenceSO 95380 95828
Date and Time151204 110008
Copyright ©Paul Balmer