Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Bentley Canal - central section

Bentley Canal - Willenhall

This is very much the middle section of the Bentley Canal, and was abandoned several years before the upper section. It passed through a lockless section at the Weldless Tube Works (now Tata Steel) before reaching one of the few bends at Monmer Lane and then into the next flight of locks at Sandbeds.

As usual, it's the decaying locks which attracted the photographers and many of the lengths in between are sparsely recorded. Its at times like these when we turn to the Britain from Above archive which offers some good resolution low level images and thus just about completes the photographic record of the built structures.

As with the other posts covering the Bentley Canal, this one has grown like topsy because if we cant have quality images we tend to go for quantity!

The images have been sorted into order from top to bottom.

Fly Bridge

Weldless Tube Works with Hills Bridge

Weldless Tube Works 1947

Weldless Steel with Neachells Branch

Hills Bridge

Weldless Tube Works 1984 Arthur Farrand Radley

Hills Bridge in Weldless Tube Works 1986

Loading boats at Coalite on the Bentley Canal

Bentley Canal at Coalite works (now Tata Steel)

Probably Neachell Branch beyond Coalite Works

Inside the Coalite Works near Hills Bridge 1912

Thomas Parker - a true Entrepreneur of his time - he also owned the ‘Phosphorus Works’ that I’m sure you will have seen marked on OS maps at the Bentley flight near Well Lane - selling the rights and patents for his electrical arc manufacturing process to Messrs Albright&Wilson of Oldbury. He bought the land for the Coalite plant with 60 acres which he also intended to mine - but the factory was closed by 1913, just 5 years after the photographs were taken. Not that it wasn’t a success of course - production moved to Bolsover where it remained until closure in 2004. The Weldless Tube company then moved from their Neachells Lane premises (in between the canal and railway bridges) into the Coalite plant.  
(Taken from"The Sphere" and supplied by Mike Morgan)

South from Hills Bridge

Ariel view of Fibbersley Bridge

Fibbersley Bridge

Fibbersley Bridge with Hills Bridge beyond


Fibbersley Bridge

Bentley Canal to Dingle Bridge (John Whitehouse)

Dingle Bridge 1960 (Justin Burrows)

Near Fibbersley

Looking West from Fibbersley Bridge - Justin Burrows

Fibersley Bridge to Dingle Bridge -  a rather blurry image taken from a Laurence Hogg video

Laurence Hogg started on the canals very young, and sadly passed away far too soon.

Fibbersley Bridge - Colin Grewcott

Monmer Lane 1952

Site of Monmer Lane Bridge

Monmer Lane Bridge - John Smith

Monmer Lane Bridge

Justin Burrows

Monmer Lane looking west -Lauence Hogg

Springbank Bridge

Springbank Bridge looking upstream

May 1985

Springbank Bridge 1964 Ron Grosvenor

Springbank West - John Adey

Springbank East - John Adey

Springbank Bridge a few years later

Springbank Bridge - John Adey

Springbank Bridge today

Locks at Sand Beds

Lock7 with Springbank Bridge (HNBC Weaver)

Colourised version of the above image

Lock 7 - Laurence Hogg

Lock 7 - Laurence Hogg

Lock 7 from Lock 8 (HNBC Weaver)

Bentley Locks 8 and 7 at Sand Beds 1958

Site of Lock 7 Spring 1984

Bollard at Lock 7 Jan 1986

Lock 8 an Sandbeds Bridge

Sandbeds Bridge - Justin Burrows

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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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