Wednesday 28 March 2012

Shropshire Canal - Blist Hill

Shropshire Canal
Blist Hill
March 2012

The Blist Hill section of the canal comes as something of a revelation. It represents the last section to be used in the south with coal being delivered from the collieries near Tweedale until 1912 after which it fell into dereliction. The rebirth of the Blist Hill site into a living museum included the reinstatement of of the Shropshire canal which ran through it. 

Blist Hill Wharf

This means that the canal can be seen in its operating state, complete with wharf's cranes and even a single iron tub boat, he last of its kind. The section nearest the museum operates at full depth but the later stages towards the top of the Hay incline have reduced or no water in them. This stretch was always prone to leakage and slippage so its not surprising that it isn't kept full.

The last tub boat

There are regular narrows, built to contain stop planks in the event of a breach. All very atmospheric and educational.

For the purposes of this visit I skipped the museum and skirted round the back of the site, following a narrow path to the incline which offered some good views of the canal which I have interspersed with images taken within the museum when we visited last spring.

Archive images of canal at Blist Hill

Shropshire Canal at Blist Hill between 1900 and 1920 including the pit head

Refloating the last Lilleshall Co's Iron Tub Boat 749 after repair in 1972 - Source Ironbridge Museum 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  canals alive. These images are reproduced for ease of research are are not necessarily the property of this blog and some may still be subject to copyright, and as such they should not be used for commercial gain without the explicit permission of the owner (whoever that may be). 

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Great pictures. I was reading all about 'The Shroppie' recently when I finally got around to reading 'Narrow Boat' by LTC Holt.