Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Pensnett Arm - middle section

Pensnett Arm
Middle section

November 2010

Having crossed the wilderness section, the line of the canal starts to emerge again beyond Blackbrook Lane, but it's an unconvincing start.

 Pensnett Towpath between Blackbrook and Pedimore Bridges

Having parked the car next to the site of Blackbrook Bridge we spotted a narrow alleyway heading off between some high factory walls, barely four feet wide but this represents the remains of the old towpath. It winds back and forth in a very canal like fashion, being almost enveloped by a metalworks whose noise was so great we had to shout to make ourselves heard.

But then things got interesting as we approached Pedimore Road. The towpath opened out and there was a length in water. Well, I say in water when really I should say in oily scum. For nearly 100 yards the canal bed had been converted into a huge open air cooling pond into which hot oily water is poured and cooler oily water is extracted. Accounts from the 1970's suggest that this has been going on for decades so maybe this could lay claim to being the most polluted bit of canal on the BCN.

A mutant survivor!

Beyond Pedimore Road the canal route passes into a huge and very busy haulage yard sitting on what was Woodside Iron Works. Google earth suggests that the channel becomes quite visible at the back of the yard, but that is an exploration which will have to wait for a quiet Sunday afternoon.

Site of Woodside Ironworks

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