Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Cannock Extension Canal - crossing the open cast

Cannock Extension Canal - Norton Canes to Hednesford
April 2020

In this post I continue the virtual cruise on the Cannock Extension Canal starting at the site of the Conduit Colliery and heading west to Hednesford.

The trip can be followed in a YouTube Canal Hunter video.

But for those who want to go more slowly, here are the assembled images:







Entrance to Conduit Basin


Badgers Bridge



Norton Common Bridge


Approaching Silvesters Bridge

Coppice Colliery Basin



Near Kingswood Bridge

Rumer Junction

Churchbridge top lock






Leacroft Bridge


Parks Bridge



Hawks Aqueduct


Hemlocks Bridge


Saturday, 4 April 2020

Exploring the Ogley Locks

Ogley Locks
April 2020

The last lost arm of the Wyrley and Essington Canal to the east is Ogley Locks, 30 chambers which lowered the Wyrley and Essington from from Ogley Junction near Brownhills to the Coventry Canal at Huddlesford, near Lichfield.

This is a rather unusual section to explore because it is the subject of a rapid (relatively speaking) restoration project and each year more and more of the old line is being cleared out and potentially brought back to life.

Its about eight yers since I last look a look at this route from Ogley as far as Birmingham Road in Lichfield and much has changed in the intervening period. As well as sections of canal being cleared out long lengths have become accessible, which is good news.

This time I went armed with my vlogging kit and captured much of what remains today in a series of YouTube videos.

I had planned to use this post to provide links to all the episodes to the end at Huddlesford, but sadly the Corona virus has interrupted my schedule and the final few miles to the east of Lichfield will have to wait for better times.

1. Ogley Junction to the Boat Inn



2. Boat Inn to Pipehill



3. Pipehill to Falkland Road



4. Sandfields Area



Sunday, 22 March 2020

The lost miles of the Cannock Extension Canal - Norton Canes

The lost miles of the Cannock Extension Canal part one.
March 2020

With more time on my hands than I expected it seems a good time to transfer some of the archive material I have found for the Canal Hunter series of videos.

I will start with the Cannock Extension Canal which, proved to be a really rich seam.

I gathered the images from all over the internet but my particular thanks go to: 

The Norton Canes History site

The Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Society

And the Hugh Potter collection.

The Cannock Extension Canal was lost beyond the A5 back in the 1950's when the local coal measures were played out and the line of the canal was subject to massive subsidence.

I was delighted to discover that I could find an image of nearly every bridge along the lost line and between them its possible to undertake a "virtual cruise" 60 years after the event.

In this post I will cover the length from the A5 to the Conduit Colliery in Norton Canes and they can be found as a linked photo stream in the Cannock Extension Canal Part One video.

The following map is taken from Rchard Chester-Brownes "The Other 60 Miles" and will help you see the bridges in sequence.



Watling Street Bridge


Norton Green Bridge


New Road Bridge

Foredrove Bridge

Railway Bridge from Foredrove Bridge

North of Railway Bridge at Conduit Basin


Conduit Basin



1st corner at Conduit Basin


Coundit Basin entrance



View west from Conduit Colliery spoil heap - where we co next.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Saturday, 15 February 2020

Exploring the Cannock Extension Canal

Cannock Extension Canal rediscovered
Feb 2020

I published three YouTube videos on the long lost Cannock Extension Canal last month, collating loads of old photos I have found into the sequence in which they would have been encountered had you traveled the canal 60 years ago.

This is an obscure lost canal sitting out on the extreme northern edge of the BCN, and ne which was totally lost to opencast coal mining in the 1960's.