Thursday, 30 April 2020

Ridgacre Area homepage

Ridgacre Area homepage

The Ridgacre is an obscure corner of the BCN branching off towards West Bromwich from the top of the Ryders Green Locks,  and seems to have died a death of a thousand cuts.



Originally it formed the far end of Brindley's 1769 Birmingham Canal, penetrating the coal fields of Golds Hill and powering the surrounding industry. With the extension of the Birmingham Canal to Wolverhampton it became the Wednesbury Old Canal and over time its identity has become blurred with the Walsall Canal and the Ridgacre Banch.

The Halford Branch in 1974

As the local coal measures were played out the various branches in the area were left to dry out, and the final nail in the coffin came in the 1980's when the Black Country Route was driven over it at water level. This cut off several miles of backwaters and the resulting lack of  boat traffic caused the final mile to become reeded up and is no longer navigable.

The loss of these old waterways is a shame and the following links will take you to a collection of photos capturing what used to be:







7. Haines Branch

8. Ryders Green Interchange Basin

9. Ryders Green Tar Works Branch

Click here to return to the index page

A Canal Hunter video exploring the Ridgacre area can be fund by clicking here

A Canal Hunter video exploring the Balls Hill and Danks Branches can e fund by clicking here


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).

Titford Area homepage

Titford Area Homepage

The Titford canal is the current high point of the BCN network, sitting 511ft above sea level and nestles in a saddle of high land between Oldbury and Rowley Regis.


The lost Canals around Titford and Oldbury

The Titford is approached via the six Oldbury Locks, better known to generations of boaters as "The Crow", referring to Jim Crow who operated a chemical works on a short arm near the top of the flight. It is also home to the Birmingham Canal Navigations Society who use the Titford Pumphouse for their base of operations.


These days the Titford Canal extends as far as Titford Pools and has been navigable since 1837, but before that the pools served as a reservoir to the summit level of the Birmingham Canal, also feeding Rotton Park Reservoir.

There are many lost branches in this area and the following links will take you to pages containing old photographs of these abandoned waterways:

Links to individual canals in this area:

1. Portway Branch

2. Causeway Green Branch

3. Tat Bank Branch

4. Chemical Arm

5. Oldbury Loop

6. Oldbury follow on loops

7. Jim Crow and Claytons of Oldbury Branches 

8. Churchbridge Branch


Click here to return to the 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).

Toll End Communication Canal lower (Walsall Canal)

Toll End Communication Canal - lower (Walsall Canal)
Locks Nine and Ten


This post covers the lower half of the lost Toll End Communication Canal, which was effectively the old Toll End Branch before a connection was made with the older Tipton Green Canal. This connection involved the construction of a couple of new locks, including lock Seven and its lock keepers house on the "twist".

The tail end of the Tipton Green Canal, original home to the Horsley Ironworks, can be seen in pale blue in the following map. 

The combined canal then became the Toll End Communication Canal stretching down the hill from Watery Lane Junction on Telford's New Mainline Canal to Brindley's Broadwaters Branch below, which became the BCN's Walsall Canal.


Combined Tipton Green and Toll End Communication Canals in 1945

Upstream to Church Lane Bridge with Lock Eight beyond by Alan Price 1969

Church Lane Bridge in 1966 - Ian Husslebee

Below Church Lane Bridge 1966 (HNBC - P Weaver Collection)

Canal bed below Church Lane Bridge by Alan Price 1969

Approaching Lock Nine by Alan Price in 1969

Toll End Locks Nine and Ten with Toll End Bridge beyond


Lock Nine in 1966 - Ian Husslebee


Lock Nine  in 1966 (HNBC - P Weaver Collection)

Below Toll End Lock Nine in 1966 (HNBC P Weaver Collection)

Lock Ten in 1965 - Alf Perks (Keith Hodgkins)

Colourised version of 1965 image of Lock 19 by Alf Perks

Original below 1965 image of Lock Ten by Alf Perks

Colourised version of Lock Ten in 1965 - Alf Perks (Keith Hodgkins)

Lock Ten - Laurence Hogg Collection

Remains of Lock Ten 1974 (Hugh Potter)

Lock Ten 1974 (Hugh Potter)

Toll End Bridge from Lock Ten in1966 - Ian Husslebee

Lock Ten and Toll End Bridge

Lock 10 and Toll End Bridge 1966 Ian Huselbee


Toll End Bridge 1966 (HNBC P Weaver Collection)

Bridge Road with Toll End Bridge by Alan Price 1969

Lock Ten and Toll End /Bridge Road Bridge 1961

Lock Ten by Alan Price 1968

Lock 10 and Toll End Bridge 1975 (Hugh Potter)

Toll End Bridge by Alan Price 1968

Under Toll End Bridge looking east by Alan Price 1969

Upper Church Lane Bridge 1975 (Hugh Potter)

Toll End Bridge looking west by Alan Price 1969

Toll End Bridge 1966 - Ian Husslebee

Canal bed at Toll End by Alan Price 1968

Brookhouse Bridge 1966 - Ian Husslebee

Brookhouse Bridge by Alan Price 1969

Brookhouse Bridge 1966 (HNBC - P Weaver Collection)

Brookhouse Bridge Sign by  Alan Price 1969

Brookhouse Bridge looking west by Ian Husslebee 1966


Brookhouse Bridge looking west By Alan Price 1969

East from Brookhouse Bridge 1966 - Ian Husslebee

Toll End Junction Bridge 1966 - Ian Husslebee

1966 Ian Huselbee


Toll End Junction Bridge 1966 Ian Huselbee


Toll End Junction and Ocker Hill Power Station 1966 - Ian Husslebee

Arthur Watts 1957

Arthur Watts 1957


Toll End Junction Today

Moors Mill Lane Bridge on Walsall Canal near TECC junction by Alan Price 1969


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).