Category: Wednesbury Oak Loop Photos

Deepfields Junction

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

Deepfields Junction

The BCN Wednesbury Oak Loop is the remaining part of the BCN Old Main Line which was severed at Bradley Workshops many years ago. The photo is taken from the BCN Main Line, with Wolverhampton to the left and Birmingham to the right.

Under the Railway Line

Immediately after Deepfields Junction the canal passes under the main Birmingham to Wolverhampton railway line, a little to the north of Coseley station.

Deepfields Bridge

Deepfields Bridge is a modern replacement for the original bridge.

Skirting around the houses

The route appears to skirt around the housing estate, but the canal was simply following the contours through open countryside when it was built and it’s the modern housing estate that has been built up to the line of the canal.

Walking along the towpath

The towpath is easily walk-able along the full length of the Wednesbury Oak Canal and it links with the footpath along the line of the proposed Bradley Canal to form a through route.

Narrows of the former bridge

The narrows are from a former bridge which, presumably, once carried the pipe across the canal and that’s now been made into a free standing structure.

One of the arms is still just there

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.

Modern Housing near the canal

There’s still a lovely green corridor for the canal to pass through with most of the modern housing set back a little from the canal.

Moorhen chicks

The moorhen sitting on the nest stood up as we approached and revealed three eggs and two very young chicks, possibly watching their first boat going past.

Moorhen sitting on nest

The man looking over the fence on the left was one of several locals who stood and watched the moorhen sitting on the nest in the middle of the canal as we cruised slowly past.

Gliding along

The swan kept a very close eye on us as we cruised past – perhaps it had a nest nearby.

Watched by the wildlife

Found at several locations around the Birmingham Canal Navigations are horses tethered on a long line.

Modern housing replaces older industries

I can remember when both sides of the canal had the same sorts of industrial buildings as we can see on the left. Recently the industries on the right have been replaced by the modern 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.

Can you see the junction?

As well as the many short arms we have passed along the canal there was once a complete loop near Bradley Workshops. Looking back towards Deepfields Junction we can see the raised brickwork

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

Nesting Coot

This coots have built this nest in the middle of the canal, rarely disturbed by passing boats along this hardly used section of canal. It’s sitting on a clutch of eggs in the spring.

Five Coot’s Eggs

The coot stood up to stretch its legs as we cruised past, granting us this splendid view of the five eggs it has been sitting on.

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).

Winding mechanism

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.

Completed lock gates

Bradley Workshops make lock gates for use throughout the canal system. There are several stacked outside awaiting collection, mostly by road but sometimes by boat.

Bradley Workshops

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.

Footpath 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.

Through the Car Park

Having passed under the proposed lift bridge the final obstacle is to pass through the pub car park to join the end of the Bradley Arm which is just the other side of the wall at the far end of the car park.