Friday 24 April 2020

Cannock Extension Canal - Hednesford

Cannock Extension Canal - Hednesford
April 2020

Time has not been kind to the northernmost tip of the BCN empire. The section around Rumer Hill Junction was obliterated by open cast coal mining and the straight route north from Rumer Hill Bridge as far as the railway crossing to the north of Hawkes Green Aqueduct has been buried directly under a dual carriageway.

The only surviving fragment is the outline of the northern arm of the Hednesford Basin. There is not a lot to see on the ground today, but we are blessed with a lot of great photos from, among others, Hugh Potter who visited the site just before it was filled in.

Entering Hednesford Basin under Hemlocks Bridge

Hednesford Basin under repair near Hemlocks Bridge

Stables near Hemlocks Bridge (Hugh Potter)

Stables and south to Hemlocks Bridge (Hugh Potter)

Repairing the subsiding basin with Hemlocks bridge beyond

A similar view of Hemlocks from the final 1962 cruise - Don Gray Collection

1962 - Don Gray Collection

Repairs at Hednesford

(Hugh Potter)

Sluice south of Hednesford Basin June 1974 (Hugh Potter)


Messrs Craddock and Briggs at
Hednesford Basin 1957 by W Waltho

Hednesford Basin 1957 by W Waltho 

Hednesford Basin drained for repair

Repairs at Hednesford from Will King

1962 view from the end of the 1st basin - Don Gray Collection

...and in colour

Photo by Michael Ware

Hednesford Basin - CRT Archive

Viewed from the other end

Hednesford Basin 1972

Hednesford Railway Interchange by Michael Ware
Hednesford Basin 1955 -  Stan Heaton

Hednesford Coal Loader - CRT Archive

Hednesford Coal Loader - CRT Archive

Final cruise to Hednesford

Hednesford Basin A F Radley

An amalgam of the above two images to show the basin complex

1962 View from end of second basin - Don Gray Collection

Last days of Hednesford Basin

BCN Cottage 218 at Hednesford looking south

Hednesford Basin being filled in

East Cannock Colliery and Hednesford Basin

Express and Star 1962

East Cannock Colliery

BCN Cottage 219 at  Hednesford (Hugh Potter)

BCN Cottage 219

BCN Cottage 218 at Hednesford

Hednesford Basin being filled in

Removing the East Canock Colliery spoil tip - 1962

Demolition of Hednesford Basin

Littleton Railway at Hednesford Basin in 1962 - Don Gray Collection

Looking down the Littleton Railway in 1962 - Don Gray Collection

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).


paul said...

In the early sixties my aunty Alice and uncle Frank used to live in cottage 219 .We used to
visit them maybe twice a year.I have photos of myself and my two sisters walking along the drained canal the derelict bridges and the sunken barges.
The canal was quite overgrown with saplings etc and my mom used to take the bull rushes for f her flower arrangements.
Another memory was the signal box which was past cottage 218 it still had its levers and we could play there

Andy Tidy said...

Paul- an interesting insight - if you fancy sendung me a photo of your photos I will add them to the collection.