Halford Branch Canal, eastern section
Church Lane to terminus near Bank Street
Richardson's sketch of the area suggests the the canal terminated short of Vicarage Road, but an inspection on the ground caused me to believe that it may have continued beyond it, heading north into what is now a housing estate.
Halford Branch's two road crossings. Vicarage Road (here) and Church Lane (in the distance)
I hummed and harr'd about the possible continuation, wondering if it could be an abondoned railway line / tramway instead, which has caught me out in the past. However, casting a look back along the road to the Church Lane bridge site, the levels are absolutely spot on, and house builders reluctance to construct on old canal beds gave further credance to the idea. The subsequent purchase of a 1895 Godfrey Edition OS Map at a scale of fifteen inch to the mile confirmed that the Halford Branch did pass beneath the road at this point, terminating in a basin which was served by several tramways from nearby pit shafts.
The Halford Branch Canal terminus,
Well, that is it for the Halford Branch Canal. Not a lot to see on the ground today, but considerably more than was apparent on my first exploration. An area which has seen a transformation from rural heaven to undustrial hell, and then back to a more peaceful residential limbo of the modern age.
Halfie, if you are looking for a rich inheritance from the canal bearing your family name, I fear you will be both disappointed and penniless! This is in sharp contrast to Joshua Fellows, Managing Director of Fellow Morton and Clayton, who lived in the nearby Churchfields House in the late 1880's.