End of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch

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End of the Boardman's Bridge Branch
End of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch

Filmed from the junction with the Ravenhead Branch, the Boardman’s Bridge Branch once continues around 300m (330 yards) straight ahead, passing under two long gone railway bridges on the way.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 24.605.01
OS Grid Reference SJ 51449 94871
Date and Time 160114 132830
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Junction with the Ravenhead Branch

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Junction with the Ravenhead Branch
Junction with the Ravenhead Branch

Looking from the inside of the curve at the junction it’s hard to believe that that Boardman’s Bridge Branch once continued almost straight ahead through the far bank, where the Ravenhead Branch curves to the right.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 24.580.02
OS Grid Reference SJ 51412 94933
Date and Time 160114 132605
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Modern Low Bridge

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Modern Low Bridge
Modern Low Bridge

With canal restoration seriously proposed it’s a little surprising that a recently installed footbridge has been constructed with such limited clearance, especially as there aren’t any obvious reasons why it couldn’t have been constructed with navigation clearances.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 24.580.01
OS Grid Reference SJ 51412 94933
Date and Time 160114 132601
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Wildlife on the Water

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Wildlife Happy on the Water
Wildlife Happy on the Water

The wildlife is quite happy with the restored sections of canal.  In the distance is a railway bridge which, like many other bridges in St Helens, is just above water level.  The narrows nearer the camera mark the location of a swing bridge.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 24.535
OS Grid Reference SJ 51450 94963
Date and Time 160114 132359
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Cruising through the Grass

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Cruising through the Grass
Cruising through the Grass

The line of the canal is still available for restoration where this hasn’t already been been done.  Here the route passses through the grass and through the vacant arch of Corporation Street Bridge.  The towpath is walkable, the other side of the fence and passing through the next arch.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 24.075
OS Grid Reference SJ 51693 95332
Date and Time 160114 124656
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Restored Branch

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Restored Branch
Restored Branch

There’s nothing to stop boats cruising along this restored section of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch in St Helens.

Note the straight edge to the bottom of the branches of the overhanging willow tree – marking the height to which the wildlife’s beaks can reach.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 23.475
OS Grid Reference SJ 51994 95854
Date and Time 160114 124017
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Causeway and Bridge

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Causeway and Bridge
Causeway and Bridge

The first bridge, with the light coloured railings, has been replaced by a causeway and the road level will have to be raised a little when the canal is restored.

In the foreground the position of the former railway bridge is easy to identify.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 23.290
OS Grid Reference SJ 51996 96040
Date and Time 160114 123711
Copyright © Paul Balmer

Above the New Double Locks

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Above the New Double Locks
Above the New Double Locks

The two lock staircase at the end of the Boardman’s Bridge Branch of the St Helens Canal was restored some time ago but has been allowed to decline a little. It’s still recognisable as a working lock and helps boost the idea that restoration of the rest of the canal is possible.

Waterway and Kilometerage HELENS-BBB 23.200
OS Grid Reference SJ 51997 96132
Date and Time 160114 123318
Copyright © Paul Balmer