Thursday 31 October 2019

Union Arm and Izon Old Turn BCN

Union Arm, BCN

The Union Arm is an elusive little canal, a twisting arm which came off the original Birmingham Canal near what became Pudding Green Junction. 

Its course was complicated when the New Main Line was built in the 1840's, cutting across its line with both its start and terminus on the eastern side but the meat of the waterway on the west.

The little network of canals and basins are long gone, but I recently found a photograph in the Hugh Potter collection taken in the early 1970's which shows the entrance the the end basin, and the factory backdrop still exists providing an accurate location.

If I find any more images of the Union Arm I will add them to the post.

Northern entrance to the Union Branch taken where the New Main Line crossed its path (Hugh Potter)

Duncan Moore did some more research on this elusive waterway and found a set of aerial shots which capture much of this Branch:

Entrance to Union Branch in context of Pudding Green Junction

Looking into the Union Branch (left) in 1951 with the Albion Interchange in the centre

Entrance to Union Branch from the Wednesbury Old Canal with Albion Railway interchange at the top taken in 1951

Midway down the Union Branch in 1951

Far end of the Union Arm in 1951

Another view of the original terminus in 1934 (see map below)

Izon Old Turn

There is a risk of disappearing down ever smaller rabbit holes when it comes to tracking down the lost sections of the BCN. So, rather that create a new post and given its proximity to the Union Branch, let's include the Izon Old Turn here.

Just as the Union Branch ended up straddling the New Main Line canal, the construction of the New Main Line also created a loop canal which used to be part of Brindley's original Birmingham Canal as it curved inti what became the Wednesbury Old Canal at Pudding Junction. Not that there were any junctions here in Brindley's day!

Izon Old Turn can be seen at the top left, continuing across Pudding Green Junction

Izon Old Turn complete in 1951

This 1948 image shows most of the loop with a boatyard at Pudding Green

Looking back from Izon Old Turn from above the boatyard in 1948

Click here to return to the Birmingham to Smethwick index page

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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