Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust

We’ve just returned from our first cruise of the season over the past two days, from our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf to Wolverhampton and back.  It’s always nice to be cruising again, and we identified a few items that need fixing after the winter before we start cruising again.

New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal
New Swing Bridge across the Dudley No 1 Canal

On the way we stopped to see the Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust’s new visitor centre which was opened on 14th March 2016 by HRH The Princess Royal.

Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre
Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust Visitor Centre

There’s a new swing bridge across the canal which provides a level link to the Black Country Living Museum and the boarding point for the trip boats into Dudley Tunnel.  The tunnel portal is just visible in the background.

Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats
Dudley Tunnel Trip Boats

The trip boats are electric and have a low height so they fit into Dudley Tunnel which has such a low profile that most narrowboats will not fit inside.

Hawne Basin

JUMP TODudley No 2 CanalNext >
< Selly OakSelly Oak >
Hawne Basin
Hawne Basin

The entrance to Hawne Basin, under the bridge, marks the normal limit of navigation on the Dudley No 2 Canal.  Straight ahead the canal once continued to reach the Worcester & Birmingham Canal at Selly Oak but is now a short length of moorings.

Restoration is planned, as the Lapal Canal, following a similar route to the Dudley No 2 Canal and taking the route over the top of the hill with additional locks instead of through the collapsed Lapal Tunnel.

Waterway and KilometerageBCN+DUD3 19.625
OS Grid ReferenceSO 97447 84418
Date and Time110430 101914
Copyright ©Paul Balmer

New Blog Started

After several attempt to integrate the blog with my website I’ve decided to revert to a standard WordPress blog.  That should make publishing a little easier and, perhaps, a little more frequent.

We’re our home mooring at Sherborne Wharf for a week or two, before setting off again to the north Oxford Canal – but more of that nearer the time.

Waterway Routes moored on our Home Mooring at Sherborne Wharf
Home Mooring at Sherborne Wharf

We’ve finished our main summer cruise and we’re busy updating the maps with the changes found during the past month and starting to edit the DVDs filmed during the summer.


Bradley Canal

The Bradley Canal is the name being given to the waterway created by the proposed restoration of closed canals within the Birmingham Canal Navigations (BCN).  The Bradley Canal will provide a new route between the BCN Walsall Canal and the BCN Main Line.

Route of the Bradley Canal
Route of the Bradley Canal

This will include three distinct former waterways:

  • Bradley Branch, with nine locks between the Walsall Canal at Moorcroft Junction and Bradley Locks Junction
  • Rotton Brunt Line, a straight cut off section which once avoided a winding section of the Old Main LIne, from Bradley Locks Junction to Batmans Hill Junction
  • Old Main LIne, from Batmans Hill Junction to Bradley Workshops

From  Bradley Workshops the canal is still open and forms:

  • The Old Main Line section usually known as the Wednesbury Oak Loop, and sometimes as the Bradley Arm, from Bradley Workshops to Deepfields Junction with the Main Line.
Extract from free Bradley Canal Map
Extract from free Bradley Canal Map

Detailed maps of the restoration route 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.

Start of the Bradley Canal where it meets the Walsall Canal at Moorcroft Junction
Moorcroft Junction where the Bradley Canal meets the Walsall Canal

I walked the route recently and the paths are in good condition throughout.  I was surprised by the long range views available from the top of Bradley Locks.  Please take a look at the photos which form a virtual cruise along the Bradley Canal, starting at Moorcroft Junction where it meets the Walsall Canal, or at Bradley Workshops.