Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Old Mainline Canal Part Two - Summer Hill to Bradley

 Old Mainline Canal Part Two - Summer Hill to Bradley

This post continues to follow the lost loop of the Old Mainline Canal between Tipton and Bradley, covering the section Summer Hill to the Wednesbury Oak Loop.

The number of archive photos we have found have grown over the years and there are now too many to cover the entire line from Bloomfield in one post. 





This post effectively starts at Parker Bridge at the end of what is now Moat Road, but to date no ground level images of Parker Bridge have come to light. We therefore start at the entrance to the Upper Ocker Hill Branch.

The canal continues through an area devastated by coal mining including the massive Moat Colliery to the east (served by the brief Dumaresq Branch) and the Schoolfield Colliery to the West. Along the way we pass the site of the old Mine Pumping engine which became Charles Lathes foundry in the 1920's and then onto St Johns Church with the massive Tibbington Brickworks beyond.

A feature of this industrial devastation were the swans of Princes End. The old mainline canal cut through this area and the wide bend at the junction of Upper Church Lane and Field Road (which both remain in situ) and this was home to a large population of swans. This group of swans features on many photographs and helps locate many of the images.

Ocker Hill Branch Entrance looking south

Laths foundry viewed from Ocker Hill Junction

Summer Hill Ironworks

Abandoned boats at Summer Hill

Approaching Princes End by Philip Weaver

St John's Church at Princes End (on Upper Church Lane)

Princes End with the Weslyan Methodist Chapel

Weslyan Methodist Chapel at Princes End

Old Mainline Canal at Princes End - the bungalows are on Field Road 


Charles Lathes Foundry Summer Hill south from Princes End

Similar view of Lathes Foundry


Looking back at Summer Hill in 1949 (Lathes is left of centre)

This section is now covered by the northern section of the Moat Farm Estate

Glebefield Bridge December 1960 by Michael Hale
(now covered by Field Road)

Glebefield Bridge 1949

Wednesbury Oak Bridge looking north by Keith Hodgkins (next to ASDA)

Wednesbury Oak Road Bridge looking south in 1969 (Arthur Price)

Partridge Bridge and start of Wednesbury Oak Loop (P Weaver)

Wednesbury Oak Loop (Weddel Wynd) with Rocket Pool / Rotton Brunt Shortening

A tighter view of the Wednesbury Oak Loop

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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