Sunday, 3 November 2019

Haines Branch Canal

Haines Branch Canal
November 2019

For many the name Haines will make you think of the car owners manual, an essential workshop guide for all those unreliable cars of the 1970's.

But there is the other Haines, a lost branch canal which exited the Walsall Canal immediately below the Ryders Green locks in the Great Bridge area of the Black Country. 

This short canal runs southwest for nearly a mile to reach the site of various collieries and brickworks, industry which has left a legacy of flooded extraction pits now known as the Balancing Lake in the Sheepwash Urban Park.

There are very few photos of this obscure waterway, but a couple do exist from 1974, taken by Hugh Potter, highlighting the state of the navigation nearly 50 years ago.

Aerial view of the junction with the Walsall Canal

Haines Branch Canal into what is now the Sheepwash Park

Entrance to Haines Branch

Haines Branch Junction opposite Railway Interchange basins

Entrance to the Haines Branch (Left)

Haines Branch entrance (right) with Ryders Green Locks ahead.

Bridge over Haines Branch - Alan Price 1969

Boats sunk at entrance to Haines Branch

Two views of the Haines Branch into Great Bridge

Great Bridge 1972 by Keith Hodgkins

Great Bridge

Great Bridge 1979 - Trevor Littlewood

Great Bridge 1979 - Trevor Littlewood 

The Haines Branch at Great Bridge in 1974

Cox timber yard

Boat trip setting off from Cox's timber yard (John Whitehouse collection)

Cox's Timberyard 1969 by David Wilson

1966 by David Wilson

Western End 1950

Planned incline from Haines Branch to NML (CRT Archive)

Plans for the Birchills Incline (CRT Archive)

The above photos have been assembled from various sources, including those freely found on the internet. My thanks go to the many photographers alive and dead who have contributed to this collection and in so doing, are keeping the memory of these lost canals alive. These images are reproduced for ease of research are are not necessarily the property of this blog, and as such should not be used for commercial gain without the explicit permission of the owner (whoever that may be).

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