Southern Section - Walsall Canal Junction to M6
My exploration of the Bentley Canal led, inevitably, to the Anson Branch which was it's link into the Walsall Canal 'mainline'.
Reed filled bed of Anson Branch Canal
Whereas the Bentley is completely dry and largely obliterated, fate has treated the Anson more kindly. It can be argued that it remains in water throught although I use the phrase 'in water' somewhat guardedly. What that actually means is that the canal bed is wet, but filled with reeds.
Anson Branch Junction with Walsall Canal
The junction with the Walsall Canal is recognisable and the length up to the M6 remained navigable till at least the mid 1970's. The first 400 yards are now clogged with reeds, but not so choked that you can walk acress the canal bed, if you know what I mean.
Bentley Mill Way bridge over Anson Branch Canal
The junction with the Bentley Canal is dignified by a stretch of open water with a pipe bridge behind, but this illusion of a living canal is short lived. The watered section comes to an abrupt end at Bentley Mill Way bridge, which has it's northern portal bricked up.
Beyond Bentley Mill Way the line of the canal enters the Junction 10 Retail Park, it's exact route visible by a line of trees and a stand of ventlation shafts. One can only assume the the canal bed and cutting was used for infill. This line is emphatically terminated by the towering embankment of the M6 but I was delighted to find a photo of Tony Clayton's boat Linton pressed up against this obstacle in 1974. It is believed that this was that last time any boat made it this far.
Anson Branch Canal track next to Showcase Cinema J10 of the M6