Monday, 28 December 2009

Anson Branch, Reedswood

Anson Branch, Reedswood
Birmingham Canal Navigations
December 2009

The Anson Branch canal terminates at Reedswood Park, site of an abandoned coal mine.

Anson Branch beside Reedswood Park

The canal remains in water, running along the estern edge of the park and terminating in a large reed filled basin. A short walk to the north reveals a substanbtial reservoir which continues to feed the canal via a large concrete pipe.

Reedswood Reservoir

Mid way along this section an impressive arm leads off to the east with a bridge carrying the towpath over the entrance. Whilst the basin beyond the bridge is in water, the entrance itself is reeded up to the point that it is possible, with a little care, to walk across the entrance. Strangely, the whole basin is railed off whereas access to the equally dangerous canal is easy to reach. Probably health and safety gone mad, as usual.

Reedswood Basin

The park is surrounded by cast iron railings, which probably date back to the days it was a colliery.


John said...

John B
I have just come across this site. I was born on Pleck Road and am now getting on in years. I have just seen the pictures of the Reedswood Anson branch of our canal system. I knew this area like the back of my hand! In the 1940 early 50`s, from Reedswood [Bentley] near the end of the canal we used to hire rowing boats for 2d an hour for kids from Tom Pearsall and used to row along this canal to where the canal turned orange from the Copper works discharge [killing all the fish]. The Anson canal was destoyed with the alteration of Wolverhampton Road Bridge to make way for M6 Traffic. Frank Parkers farm was approximately where the motorway island is. The space between the island and Alumwell school was farmland where we picked spuds for Parker.
On the right at the Reedswood end of Anson canal just inside the Reedswood Park fence was the open air swimming pool [now gone] - mostly not used during WW11 so us kids used to squeeze between the railings and join the frogs in the water.
Bentley common, the quarry, canal, the 'leg of mutton, The Square and Three Perch pools, the burning railway embankment tip' were the haunts of my childhood never to be replaced - destroyed forever by the building of Gypsy Lane estate [Beechdale] and by the biggest motorway bottleneck cock up in the whole of Europe - the M6!

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading about this branch of the canal.
I grew up in Reedswood (I'm 47 now). My late father Derek used to help Tom Pearsall on the rowing boat trips. Unfortunately I didn't find out about his time on this part of the canal until after he passed away in 2011.
Many thanks to John for his comment - it's likely he would have know my dad.