Sunday 26 April 2020

Ocker Hill Branch

Ocker Hill Branch and Monway Branch
April 2020

This short arm led east from the main line canal at Summer Hill, mainly to reach the BCN works at the far end.

This was a key pumping station for the BCN, recycling water back up from the Walsall level to the Wolverhampton Level using several massive steam powered pumps. The lower arm remains in water and was host to the Ocker Hill Power Station which was demolished in 1987.

The branch canal was therefore built on an embankment primarily to supply the pumping engines with coal and also to convey the water back to the main line, till it was abandoned in the 1950's.

Ariel view of the Ocker Hill Branch

Entrance to Upper Ocker Hill Branch (P Weaver / HNBC)

Summerhill Ironworks

Ocker Hill Pumping Station from Moat Bridge

Stepping Bridge nar Ocker Hill Works (HNBC - P Weaver Collection)

Aerial view of Ocker Hill Branch (Gospel Oak terminus in foreground)

Ocker Hill embankment over Moat Farm Estate

Moat Bridge

Ocker Hill Branch (HNBC. - P weaver Collection)

Ocker Hill looking east (HNBC - P Weaver Collection)

Ocker Hill Branch with Junction in1948

Ocker Hill Branch from lower in 1948

Ocker Hill embankment

Ocker Hill Branch with pumping station to the left

On Ocker Hill embankment looking north

Ocker Hill Pumping Station in steam (centre)

Ocker Hill Works (HNBC P Weaver Collection)

Ice Breaker at Ocker Hill Works (Will King)

Ocker Hill Works in1960 (Philip Weaver)

Ocker Hill - BCNS Archive

Basin at Ocker Hill Works

Ocker Hill Depot

Inside Ocker Hill Pumping Station

Edward Paget-Tomlinson - BCNS

New engine at Ocker Hill

Ocker Hill Pumping Station demolition

Before and after photos from Bolton Court opening brochure in 1965

Unloading coal in the lower basin


Ocker Hill Tunnel Branch (HNBC - Weaver Collection)

Ocker Hill Power Station before the 3rd cooling tower was added

Ocker Hill power station

Unloading coal at Ocker Hill Power Station

Ocker Hill Power Station with canal

Between Ocker Hill and Lea Brook Bridge (John Whitehouse)

Waterways Magazine cover Sept 1958 delivering coal from Sandwell

And for a lack of anywhere else to file them, here are a couple of images of the entrance to the Monway Branch taken in 1974. The branch was built in 1812 and abandoned in 1957

Both photos were taken by Hugh Potter

This image, taken by Arthur Farrand Radley in 1984 and is labelled "Monway Branch", but its location remains uncertain.

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).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Captain, for this helpful information and old photos. My great grandparents left a diary of a visit they made to the area in 1896, and I am recreating their walk from Lea Brook Square, where they stayed, to Dudley Castle. I've just reached the bit where they join the canal near St Mark's Square. You photos are helping me to see what they saw.

Rachael Jones, Newtown, Powys.