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.
A surprising number of photos have been found of this reclusive waterway, mainly of the first half as far as Sheepwash Bridge. This will be because right into the 1960's boats carrying wood were making regular deliveries to Thomas Cox and Son Timberyard, and the sight of narrowboats plying their trade in something other than coal seems to have been something of a magnet for photographers.
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
Bridge over Haines Branch - Alan Price 1969
The Haines Branch at Great Bridge in 1974
Cox timber yard
Planned incline from Haines Branch to NML (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).