Bradley Canal Restoration Society

The BCN Society supports the Bradley Canal Restoration Society in their fascinating project to restore a lost canal link.

The photo above shows the handing over of a £1,000 cheque for the BCRS. On the left of the cheque is Dave Pearson, BCRS chairman, and on the right Martin O’Keeffe, BCNS Chairman.

What makes this restoration project so fascinating? The canal is gone, the locks are gone, there’s nothing left! On first sight, that is.

True, the canal was filled in, and the locks were filled in. But the locks are most likely still there, just filled with “stuff” that could be removed. The original canal has not been built over, it’s on open land. The lower few hundred yards of the canal are still in water, the bottom lock isn’t even filled in.

The restored canal wouldn’t be “just” a canal arm, a cul-de-sac, it would be a though route from the Old Main Line to the Walsall Canal. Water supply, always an issue with a flight of locks, might be not a big problem – the current Bradley Branch acts as a major feeder for the BCN, where water from old pits is pumped into the canal system at Bradley Workshop.

There is a major obstacle, Bradley Lane. It’s a busy road, and crosses the filled in canal close to Bradley Workshops. There is no easy solution, but canal restoration has overcome bigger hurdles!

For more information, please visit the new Bradley Canal Restoration Society website!

There is, of course, the excellent Andy Tidy “Canal Hunter” Bradley Locks video on this website. Later this year, we should have a complete virtual tour, from Bradley Workshops to the Walsall Canal on this website, together with lots of information.

If you have any old photos of the Bradley Canal, we would love to see, and, with your permission, publish them, in support of this excellent project.



Comments 3

  1. How do I join the BCRS without using Facebook. I was on nb Lockhart on the 2018 challenge and went up to the workshops and I must say in parts it indeed was a tad shallow. The recent dredging means I’ll be back up there Asap and if there’s a group that aims to restore a missing link I’ll be happy to support them.

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  2. Dear BCNS in your article you mention the Bradley pump house, now this causes alarm.
    A few years ago the pools in moorcroft wood nature reserve (AKA The Sana) were losing water to the point of drying up, the cause was found to be as a direct result of water being pumped out of Bradley mines at Bradley pump house.
    We (the local residents) tried so hard to get these pumps to be shut down or a culvert be installed from the Walsall canal to put water back into the pool.
    The out come was limited pumping, so for these locks to be opened up pumping must be increased which in turn would have a negative impact on the nature reserve.
    So can this issue of a feeder culvert be brought to fruition in this restoration development so that there is no impact at all on anything and a constant pumpable supply of water at all times.

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