Wednesday 29 April 2020

Bentley Canal - Wednesfield

Bentley Canal West - Wednesfield and Neachell
Locks one to six

The upper section of the Bentley Canal lingered on well into the 1970's, with the top four locks navigable till at least 1973, if you didn't mind reversing out.

The sad decay of the area attracted generations of canal enthusiasts and as a result we have a veritable smorsgaboard of archive images - which is just as well because absolutely nothing survives in the present day.

Its hard to pick out the best so I have adopted the more is more approach and i leave you to be the judge. 

If I had known how many images would come to light I may have split the post into smaller lengths.

Aerial View of Locks 1 to 4

Iced up Wednesfield Junction 

Old Bentley Bridge 1973 Ian Huselbee

Bentley Bridge and Junction 1973 - Ian Huselbee

Ian Huselbee 1973

Gauging Lock at Bentley Junction 1971 - Edward Paget-Tomlinson

Spring 1984


Feb 1985

Wednesfield Junction 1958

Spring 1984

Spring 1984

Laurence Hogg Collection

Ian Huselbee 1973

Bentley Locks one and two Spring 1984

Bentley Top Lock - Wolverhampton Archive

Bentley Locks 1-3

1973 - Ian Huselbee

Ian Huselbee 1963

Locks 1 to 3 - 1986

Leaving Top Lock A - Farand Radley



Laurence Hogg Collection

Colin Sidaway

Bentley Top Lock by Colin Sideaway 

1956 (HNBC Weaver)

Laurence Hogg Collection

Top Lock and Cottage 1973 Ian Huselbee

1973 Ian Huselbee

Bentley top lock from junction bridge

Bentley Top Lock 1958

Toll House at Wednesfield Junction 1958

BCN Lock Cottage 245 in Spring 1985


The demolished remains of the top lock cottage in the summer on 1985

Bentley locks 1 and 2

Bollard at Lock One - 1986

Top lock cottage

In happier times

Top Lock

Top Lock 1973 Ian Huselbee



Balance beam - Lock 1 spring 1984

Top Lock in 1973 Ian Huselbee

Lock One - 1986

Top Lock in1986

Navigating lock One in 1971 - Hugh Potter

Photo by Steve King

Below Bentley Top Lock

Almost gone....

Locks 1 - 3

Locks one to three - 1986

Lock 4 - photographer unknown

Lock Two - 1986


Lock 2 with 3 behind


Lock 2 Spring 1984

Lock 2 1976

Lock 3 slides into oblivion....

Above Lock Three -1986

Lock 3 to Lock 4 1974 - Photographer unknown

Lock 3 downhill

The decline of Lock 3

Locks 3 to 1- Laurence Hogg


Spring 84

Laurence Hogg Collection

Lock 3 1982 - David Morris

Lock 3 - Feb 1985

Laurence Hogg Collection

Locks 3, 2 and 1 1956 - (HNBC P Weaver)

Colourised version of the above

Lock 3 1973 Ian Huselbee

Bollard detail at Lock 3 in1973 Ian Huselbee

Locks 3 to 1

Lock 3 

Laurence Hogg Collection

Abandoned lock gates in 1973 (Hugh Potter)

Locks 3 to 5
Lock 4 with Cottage 1975

Locks 4 to 3 - Laurence Hogg

Above Lock Four - Laurence Hogg Collection

Ian Husselbee

Ian Huselbee 1963

Lock Four - Ian Huselbee 1963

BCN cottage at Lock 4 Ian Husselbee

Ian Husselbee

Lock Cottage at Lock 4 - Ian Huselbee 1963

Ian Huselbee 1963

Ian Huselbee 1963

Bentley Lock 4

Laurence Hogg Collection

Well Lane Bridge - Ian Husselbee

Passage blocked out of Lock 4 in 1971  - beneath Well Lane Bridge (Hugh Potter)

Well Lane Bridge parapet (Hugh Potter)

Well Lane Bridge Plate in situ

And its current home in the USA, with a copy

OK - perhaps a bit nerdy, but two of the actual nails which held it to Well Lane Bridge....

Aerial view of Bentley Lock 4

Lock 4 is buried - Laurence Hogg Collection

Locks 4 and 5

Lock 5

Pound above lock Six in 1965 - Ian Husslebee

Pound above lock Six

Weldless Tube Works - A F Radley

A few years before - Laurence Hogg Collection


To Merrills Hall Bridge circa 1966 - Clive Taylor


Lock Six to Lock Five - Laurence Hogg Collection

Lock six to lock five circa 1968 - Clive Taylor

A Site of Locks six and five - F Radley

Weldless Steel Tube Works towards lock 5

Weldless Tube Works 1947

Locks five and six 1956 (HNBC Weaver)

Locks six and five 1968 (Jack Haddock)

Locks six and five - Laurence Hogg Collection

Colourised version of the above image

Below Lock Six

Neachells Bridge


Neachells and Merrils Hall Bridge

Merrils Hall Bridge and Weldless Steel with Neachell Branch Junction

Merrils Hall Bridge in 1952 - Revision Point Survey Wolverhampton Archive

Hills Bridge - Peter Kennedy

Hills Bridge

Weldless Steel Tube Co Ltd with Hills Bridge and Watery Lane Bridge beyond

Aeriel view of Lock 6 and Neachell Branch

Bentley Canal bed looking south at the Neachell Junction

Looking North to Hills Bridge

Neachell Branch Canal

South of Neachell Junction

Neachell Branch

Neachell Branch Bridge 1965 Ian Husslebee

Rail Bridge on Neachell Branch - Ian Husselbee

Watery Lane Bridge on Neachell Branch 1952 - Revision Point Survey Wolverhampton 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 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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