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Tours 2000, BCN, Severn Estuary, K&A and River Wey

14 - Thursday 13th July - Wolverhampton. Old Main Line / New main Line to St Vincent St moorings, Birmingham. Includes Wednesbury Oak Loop to Bradley Workshops.

John Rushbrook was joining this morning, so we stayed put after moving down to the water point. There had been an attempt to untie the boat yet again, as the bow rope was in the water. They had obviously given up when they saw the chain. We shoved off at 10 .25 and soon reached Deepfields Junction at 11.40. After this the two Peter's jumped ship to have a look / photo shoot of Willingsworth Railway interchange basins. At 11.40 we entered the Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). We found the going reasonable as the pair of weed cutter boats were hard at it clearing the notorious Bradley weed. We passed the "final" winding point after reading the notice saying that the chain would be dropped at the end enabling full length boats to wind, during office hours. We got to the end at 12.55 and stuffed the bow into the small bridge hole to the lower basin. The boat would have gone round at a real push, but eventually a BW bod came over. He moaned at us that had we not seen the notice a way back saying last winding point. We said we had indeed seen the notice saying that we could turn at the workshops during the office hours. He grudgingly wound down  the chain and we winded further up. Soon we were off back with renewed vigour. The Main Line was reached at 14.00 and finally Factory Junction at 14.40. Here we turned right onto to Old Main Line (Wolverhampton Level.) 

Having done that we had finished all the BCN that is open at the moment. Neil cracked open the celebratory bottle of wine. 

Peter B left us at Tipton Green Bridge. This was in true TNC fashion, we did not actually stop! We carried on along the Old Main Line and had a top up of diesel at Oldbury Boat Services and arrived at the 14 day (St Vincent Street) moorings in Birmingham at 18.05. That night we went to the Fiddle and Bone pub opposite. After this we got lost trying to find a decent Balti House. We ended up at Aston in a very basic, bring your own booze one!


Broad Street warehouse and basin. Wolverhampton. Main Line. BCN.

Broad Street warehouse and basin. The water point is just to the left of picture. There is a locked gate (BW key) from the towpath. Wolverhampton. Main Line. BCN.

Broad Street warehouse and basin. This is the groovy location for a rave, a few nights a week. Wolverhampton. Main Line. BCN.

John R arrives! Wolverhampton. Main Line. BCN.

The old British waterways Board signpost at Horseley Fields Junction with the Wyrley and Essington Canal. Main Line. BCN.

Serious (sponsored!) graffiti. Main Line. BCN.

Minerva Wharf. Main Line. BCN.

Yet more of Commercial Arm is being infilled. Main Line. BCN.

Yet more of Commercial Arm is being infilled.  Main Line. BCN.

Chillington Railway interchange basin. Main Line. BCN.

Chillington Railway interchange basin. Main Line. BCN.

Chillington Railway interchange basin. Main Line. BCN.

The narrows / railway bridge and tarted up BCN cottage, just after Rough Hill Bridge. They seem to have a security crisis! Main Line. BCN.

My god, finally another boat! Main Line. BCN.

Highfields Road Bridge, just before Deepfields Junction. Main Line. BCN.

Deepfields Junction. We are just turning up the cut-off Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). Main Line. BCN.

Deepfields Junction BCNS Signpost. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Looking back at Deepfields Junction. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Narrows at Daisy Bank. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Highfields Road Bridge. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

One for the artistic graffiti collection! Highfields Road Bridge. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Highfields Road Bridge and the Boat Inn pub. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Experimental bank protection (old radiators!) Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Highfields Colliery Basin just beyond Highfields Road Bridge. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Yes, we did note this! Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

The final full length winding point before Bradley Yard. This is before Bank Bridge an is not even half way up the arm! Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

The pair of weed-cutter boats. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

The pair of weed-cutter boats. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Remains of old railway bridge and narrows, before Bank Bridge. Surprisingly there was another boat up here! Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

The new Bank Bridge constructed in 1994. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Un-marked Bridge. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Factory built over the canal. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Pothouse Bridge. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

This old towpath bridge marks the old course of the canal before it was straightened out. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

We are kicking up the rusty deposits bought up by Bradley Pumps. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Bradley Pump House and outflow. Here water is pumped up from an old mine shaft. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

Nearing the end, BW Bradley Yard.  It is possible to wind a 55ft boat in the basin entrance bridge (there is a barrier at the other side). Just beyond is a chain across the end of the canal, where BW keep maintenance craft. You can now get them to wind it down during "office Hours". We did, after some argument! Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

The end. Tup Street Bridge is in the distance. There is a vague plan to reconnect this end of the arm up to the Walsall Canal using the Bradley Locks Branch. All of the derelict course is still there. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

BW Bradley Workshops. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

BW Bradley Workshops. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

BW Bradley Workshops. "Mr Happy" BW bod has just lowered the chain and tells us to "aim for the blue door opposite". The chain windlass is just beyond the bridge ramp. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

BW Bradley Workshops. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

BW Bradley Workshops. This is the entrance bridge into the lower basin. This image virtually joins up with the last. Wednesbury Oak Loop (Bradley Arm). BCN.

We are back on the Main Line and have passed under Anchor Bridge. The anchor pub is to the right. BCN.

Approaching Coseley Tunnel. Main Line. BCN.

Coseley Tunnel North portal. Main Line. BCN.

Coseley Tunnel South portal. Main Line. BCN.

Towpath X-over bridge and Wallbrook Bridge. Main Line. BCN.

Beans Foundry. This landmark has been here for many years. Main Line. BCN.

Beans Foundry. Main Line. BCN.

Factory Junction BCN Signpost. It appears to be hiding from the vandals! Main Line. BCN.

Just past Factory Junction, back on the Wolverhampton Level, we have done all the BCN. Neil gets out celebratory bottle of wine. Old Main Line. BCN.

The Tour continues....

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