Monday, 20 February 2012

Bradley Workshop - a prowl around the outside

Bradley Workshop - the outside
February 2012

My visit to the Bradley lock gate workshop offered an opportunity to have a good poke round the outside.

Bradley basin

Starting as the very end of the canal, near the site of the old Bradley Lane bridge, there is an excellent view from the gate storage compound down the canal itself. Its probably four years since Mr Truth and I made an agonising two hours to battle our way through thick weed,  but not so today - the channel appears fairly clear.

Bradley Works

Behind the works there is a basin, with and entrance into two decommissioned dry docks which have been dry for over 50 years.


Scorpio

Working boat Scorpio was in residence together with a number of BW staff and volunteers who were keen to share their knowledge of the area. This basin was home to a strange aroma which had one visitor sniffing and looking as me suspiciously, but no - I hadn't been eating eggs! This smell was coming from the back of the squat outbuilding which forms the northern boundary to the site. There is more to this structure than meets the eye - its the old pumping house which used to house a big steam engine but today serves the same purpose via three huge electric pumps which have been keeping the Wolverhampton level in water for the last two years since the Chasewater Reservoir was emptied.

Bradley pumphouse

The pumphouse outfall

All this water comes from the flooded mines  650 feet beneath our feet. This relationship between the mines and the canals goes right back to the time when the canals were first built. The mines needed to pump their workings dry and the canals needed water. I bet they didn't expect to see the pumping continuing to serve an essential service 250 years later.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah "fond" memories of the 2009 BCN challenge when we toiled right to the end of this arm, dragging weed from the prop every five minutes (literally!).

The yard was closed but we had a little on-shore rummage to look for a 'quiz' answer - fascinating!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Captain Ahab said...

Sue, that wouldnt be the Zeppelin question would it?

Anonymous said...

No I don't think so - the answer to our question was something to do with the pub across the road from the workshop - which we couldn't reach because the gates were locked!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Anonymous said...

What Zeppelin question?

(He says knowing that the sealed envelope is NOT to be opened until 8:00hrs, 02/06/2012!)

See y'all at Walsall

SAM, nb Red Wharf

BTW You owe me a pint, I voted for you :-)

Captain Ahab said...

Sam
The answer on on that little white notice on the side wall of the pumping shed - next to the orange security netting!
I think I owe a lot of pints - I just hope that if I am elected it isnt like scoring a hole in one in golf or I will be bankrupt.... See you in Walsall,