Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Cape Arm - part 2

Cape Arm (southern section)
Birmingham Canal Navigations
October 2011

We left the Cape Arm with a northward look into the arm from Cranford Street Bridge.

Cape Arm south from Cranford Street

Cape Arm south from Cranford Street

So lets pick up the train looking south. One glance over the parapet of this 1906 bridge tells you that there is more to this arm than you would expect. The canal runs deep and wide behind the Thandi Coach depot before curling round under a huge concrete loading gantry, its roof gently slipping into the channel below.

GKN's loading gantry

The canal continues beyond this under a blue steel footbridge before coming to an abrupt end where a low level roadway crosses over. Whilst you cant see the next section, Google Earth suggests that  a short section remains in water on the other side leading to a residual element of a further arm which headed towards the Cape of Good Hope pub. I couldn't gain access to the site so there is no way of validating if this last bit still exists. Maybe one for another day.

Plaque on Cranford St Bridge

The loop used to continue on to the south, its path still visible as a roadway lined by old warehouses before petering out as it enters the only element of the site with operating businesses.

The final blue footbridge

The southern exit is obliterated but can be identified by following the line of the Winson Green Loop opposite and noting a slight change on the canal edging.

Line of the lost southern section

This arm offers a wealth of opportunity as and when the block is redeveloped. If it is used by industry this is probably the last we will see of it but if it is used for residential purposes the reopened canal would four a very attractive centre piece.

Who knows, one day we may be mooring our boats by the bar in Cape Square - but then again - maybe not!

1 comment:

Frank Clarijs said...

I really enjoy these posts about lost canals, in the woods or in urban situations. I look out to read them every day. Thanks