|All gathered eager to here the facts.|
When the The Bradley Canal is restored it will recreate a 1.5 mile link on the BCN between the Walsall Canal and the New Main Line.
Other than dealing with a road bridge at the top, there are no major obstacles to restoration.
The restoration will not just be a navigation route, but also (and more importantly for users other than boaters) be a wildlife corridor and part of the regeneration of the area.
The lower locks will be particularly easy to restore – they were refurbished before being filled in to protect the chambers. All that is needed is to dig them out, and fit gates.
|Looking down the yet to be restored Bradley Flight|
|This is part of one of the locks. They are sure that most of the stonework in the chamber is still intact and could easily be restored.|
|Filled in bridge 'ole. Bridge will need to be replaced and the road straightened.|
|Even in this flight the compulsory shopping trolley|
One lock has already been restored but then filled in to protect the walls and to stop people from falling in! It was here that Brenda (organiser of the trip) had phoned in desperation to ask why no one had returned. Boaters were waiting to leave!
Arriving back we found the boats next to us had already claimed their passengers and were on their way to Tipton. Just us, a hire boat and 4 working boats left. Dove was first away and struggled to wind. Using poles and a massive amount of forward and reverse, he made it followed by Swallow who also had a bit of trouble. It was our turn next and although we are only 57foot, the wind did it's best to stop us. By the time we got round Saltaire, the longest working boat at a tad over 72ft, was ready and showed us all how it was done. Last came Hadar. Jo told me later that typically they did the perfect manoeuvrer and no one around to to see how well it had been done. So with us all finally on our way we were then held up at every bridge 'ole on the Wednesbury Arm due to Swallow collecting no end of rubbish round the prop.
|And yet again.|
By 6.10pm we made it back to Tipton. Having dropped off our passengers it was then a hasty wash and change and a march to the Black Country Museum to the new Dudley Canal Trust visitor centre and restaurant. Here we met up with Jo and Keith who also had to get a wiggle on being one of the last to arrive back at Tipton.
|Black Country Museum with the new Dudley Trust visitor centre on the left.|
|Thanks to Brian (Nb Harnser) for taking the photo. From L to R Me, Ian, Jo and Keith. (Nb Hadar)|
The sunny and warm weather brought out some early caterpillars.
|Horses on the common|