Sunday, 22 March 2020

The lost miles of the Cannock Extension Canal - Norton Canes

The lost miles of the Cannock Extension Canal part one.
March 2020

With more time on my hands than I expected it seems a good time to transfer some of the archive material I have found for the Canal Hunter series of videos.

I will start with the Cannock Extension Canal which, proved to be a really rich seam.

I gathered the images from all over the internet but my particular thanks go to: 

The Norton Canes History site

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Society

And the Hugh Potter collection.

The Cannock Extension Canal was lost beyond the A5 back in the 1950's when the local coal measures were played out and the line of the canal was subject to massive subsidence.

I was delighted to discover that I could find an image of nearly every bridge along the lost line and between them its possible to undertake a "virtual cruise" 60 years after the event.

In this post I will cover the length from the A5 to the Conduit Colliery in Norton Canes and they can be found as a linked photo stream in the Cannock Extension Canal Part One video.

The following map is taken from Rchard Chester-Brownes "The Other 60 Miles" and will help you see the bridges in sequence.



Watling Street Bridge


Norton Green Bridge


New Road Bridge

Foredrove Bridge

Railway Bridge from Foredrove Bridge

North of Railway Bridge at Conduit Basin


Conduit Basin



1st corner at Conduit Basin


Coundit Basin entrance



View west from Conduit Colliery spoil heap - where we co next.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Exploring the Cannock Extension Canal

Cannock Extension Canal rediscovered
Feb 2020

I published three YouTube videos on the long lost Cannock Extension Canal last month, collating loads of old photos I have found into the sequence in which they would have been encountered had you traveled the canal 60 years ago.

This is an obscure lost canal sitting out on the extreme northern edge of the BCN, and ne which was totally lost to opencast coal mining in the 1960's.













Sunday, 19 January 2020

Wyrley Bank Branch Canal videos

Wyrley Bank Branch Canal Hunter Videos
Jan 2020

I posted two videos exploring the Wyrley Bank Branch canal on my YouTube channel a few weeks ago and realise I failed to provide a link on the blog.



So, if you havn't seen them, they can be found  by clicking the links below:

Wyrley Bank Branch Canal - Sneyd area

Wyrley Bank Branch - northern sections


Saturday, 21 December 2019

Exploring the Anson Branch Canal

Anson Branch Canal - BCN
December 2019

I have been out and about again with my Go Pro, this time exploring the line of the abandoned Anson Branch Canal. 



Technically, this is a branch  of the Walsall Canal, but as the Bentley linked into and used the last half mile, it seemed appropriate to include it in my hunt for the abandoned branches of the Wyrley and Essington.

It's funny what you turn up in the research for these videos. I figured that this was just another little branch built to reach another coal field but in the event there was much more to this waterway, bisected by the construction of Junction 10 of the M6.

Not only did I find myself looking at the collieries in the Reedswood area of Walsall, I also found myself in a quarry with links to the Giants Causeway and Noddy Holder, plus gaining an understanding of how the canal was an essential element of the mighty Birchills power station which stood on the site of todays Sainsburys.

Link to The  20 minute Anson Branch YouTube video